A musician witnesses the murder of a famous psychic, and then teams up with a fiesty reporter to find the killer while evading attempts on their lives by the unseen killer bent on keeping a dark secret buried.
Paris, 1900: a couple are horribly murdered by a masked man with a metal claw who rips their hearts out. The sole survivor and witness to the massacre is a young girl. Twelve years later in... See full summary »
Riccardo Serventi Longhi
Anna Manni is a policewoman trying to capture a vicious serial rapist and killer. The problem is that she suffers from "Stendhal's syndrome", a psychosomatic disease that gives her dizziness and hallucinations when she is exposed to the sight of paintings and artistic masterpieces. When the maniac lures her into a trap inside Florence's famous Uffizi museum, her troubles are just beginning... Written by
Giancarlo Cairella <firstname.lastname@example.org>
What makes up the singular pleasure that is Dario Argento? Maybe it's the crossroads where High Romanticism and hardcore porn meet. (I'm referring to the feeling of his work--not the images.) Argento seems doomed, like Peckinpah and like Lynch, to have summed up his world-view in a single masterpiece, the 1977 SUSPIRIA; the thrillers that came before and the low-budget shockers that came after may offer delights, but nothing close to that unity of vision.
Seeing THE STENDHAL SYNDROME projected in Los Angeles, I was struck with newfound sympathy for the Star Wars fans protesting way too much in favor of THE PHANTOM MENACE. If you love THE STENDHAL SYNDROME, you love Argento, and that is that--you may see the flaws, but they don't ruin your pleasure. The picture has too many Achilles heels to enumerate here, but what's important is that nobody in world cinema today is wrestling with his soul in the psychosexual mire the way Argento does. He puts his misogynistic demons and his almost sentimental compassion right out there; and only Cronenberg has such a direct pipeline to his own unconscious. Not to mention the fabulous, cascading images--Argento's stock-in-trade is Victorian Liebestod, Edward Gorey gone porno, and THE STENDHAL SYNDROME has sequences that rank with his best.
The sketchy thing about STENDHAL SYNDROME, like the maestro's TRAUMA, is his use of his daughter, Asia Argento, in scenes one cannot imagine a father watching, much less filming. Whatever memoirs come down the pike twenty years later, it must be said: Argento for certain lets it all hang out, and the land-mined terrain he maps is, to my taste, thrilling.
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