A young man tries to help a teenage European girl who escaped from a clinic hospital after witnessing the murder of her parents by a serial killer and they try to find the killer before the killer finds them.
A Rome policewoman teams up with a British Interpol agent to find a crafty serial killer who plays a taunting game of cat-and-mouse with the police by abducting and killing young women and showing it over an Internet web cam.
A newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist try to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company's experimental, top-secret research projects and in so doing, both become targets of the killer.
Two horror tales based on short stories by Edgar Allan Poe directed by two famous horror directors, George A. Romero and Dario Argento. A greedy wife kills her husband, but not completely. A sleazy reporter adopts a strange black cat.
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>
T. Kretschmann (playing killer, rapist, Alfredo Grossi) said on set: "Dario has let me use my fantasies." e.g. that the attack, sucking on the gun barrel was his improvisation idea, which director Argento initially disliked: "He wasn't keen on the gun blow-job at first, but I won him around." [interview; 'Cinefantastique' magazine; April '96.] 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 Italian release is around two minutes longer than the English export version, including an additional scene where Anna calls the husband of one of Alfredo's victims, and another where she meets Marie's mother, played by Veronica Lazar (whose name is included in the credits of all versions, even those in which she does not appear). 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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