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>
This was reportedly the first feature film made in Italy to use CGI. See more »
Though featuring prominently during the film's opening sequence set at the Uffizi in Florecne, Peter Bruegel's 'Landscape with the Fall of Icarus' is actually housed at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels. See more »
The DVD version released on DVD in the UK in May 1999 contains all the material which had been pre-cut from the UK video version. Since the uncut version has never been submitted to the British Board of Film Classification, this version was withdrawn and re-released in a cut form. The new cut release has a colour graphic on the disc itself, whereas the uncut version had a black and white label. The 2010 Arrow reissue featured the full uncut version. See more »
I haven't seen "Stendhal Syndrome" in more then ten years, so I was quite thrilled when I found it on DVD (the sweet 2 disc edition) and decided to give it a shot and see if I could still be amazed by Argento.
and how does this movie hold?
Rather well I must say. While it's certainly not good as some of the Argento's earlier work, it's still one of the highlights of Argento's career. Comparing it with his early masterpieces is hard, since "Stendhal Syndrome" is much more different. It's based on personal experience Argento had as a child, much like "Phenomena" was based on Argento's current obsession of that time.
Narrative is very complex and it might be bit hard to fallow if you aren't fully concentrated or you are not familiar with Argento's narrative style - while his stories are usually linear in terms of story progression, but he often uses fragmented narrative which give some scenes dream-like narrative (this worked rather well in his supernatural movies, like Suspiria).
Story itself is bit different from his early giallo movies, because in this one, violence doesn't happen often (but when they do, they are rather nasty) and it's more character driven. It's true psychological thriller (modern filmmakers who sell their torture porn as "psychological" please learn from Mr. Argento and this movie) where we fallow the psyche of detective Anna Manni (played by Asia Argento, director's daughter) as she tries to fight serial killer and her personal demons that grow stronger after each encounter with him. (I won't go into much details because of the spoilers).
Dario Argento's visual style is still impressive, and his camera work fits perfectly with narrative and storytelling. There are some beautiful shots and interesting camera work. There's also use of contrast much like in Suspiria, but in SS, Argento had some very good moments that impressed me. In some scenes, where we fallow Anna in her apartment, contrast is strong and colors can be bright, but as the movie progresses, colors are becoming much darker and "realistic". There's a scene where Anna confronts the killer in underground (sewers) and movie drastically changes from white and red (Anna's apartment) into black, gray and brown (not only because of the set, but because Argento decided to saturate those colors even more).
Asia Argento is beautiful as usual and she gives a strong performance here.
Music is haunting and creepy, and perfectly fits with the movie.
Watch this in original Italian audio, English dub wasn't that good.
6.5/10 but I gave it 7, because Dario Argento is awesome guy in person. Meet him few years back and he was funny, charming and very down-to- earth.
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