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Thursday, July 3rd 2008

8:53 AM

Italian Grindhouse: Giallo Triple Bill

  • Posted by: Steve Biodrowski
  • Event Date & Time: July 12
  • Location: Egyptian Theatre -6712 Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood

This month, American Cinematheque is presenting a two-week series caleld Italian Grindhouse: Assault of the Deadly Celluloid. Many of the titles are Westerns and crime films, but on July 12 there will be a must-see event for horror fans: a giallo triple featuring including the rarely screened FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET (not on DVD), THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, and RED RINGS OF FEAR (not on DVD).

The first pair of films represents two-thirds of ario Argento's "Animal" trilogy, early thrillers noted for their stylish violence and eccentric titles (the other was CAT O'NINE TAILS). The other film on the triple bill is from director Alberto Negrin; I haven't seen it so I cannot recommend it.

However, the Argento films are definitely worth seeing, especially FOUR FLIES, which is just not easily available. The only time I ever saw it was at an Argento retrospective put on by the Cinematheque back in the 1990s; the screening sold out, and I remember a brown-nosing friend of mine trying to score points by offering his ticket to Quentin Tarantino, who arrived to late too buy his own.

Argento fans take note: On July 17, there will also be a screening of his later - and even better - film DEEP RED (a.k.a. "Profondo Rosso"), double-billed with THE SECRET OF DORIAN GRAY. DEEP RED is commonly considered one of the best of Argento's thrillers. DORIAN GRAY is a sleazy Euro-trash version of Oscar Wilde's novel, with all the sexual innuendo and homo-eroticism brought out of the closet. I have no idea what director Massimo Dallamano's intention was, but the result might be charitably enjoyed by a forgiving audience as a piece of intentional camp.


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