Book Review: DARIO ARGENTO - THE MAN, THE MYTHS AND THE MOVIES
Feb 16, 2013 - 2:00:22 AM
|Second, updated edition of PROFONDO ARGENTO, published in 2012|
When I saw my very first
Dario Argento film in the summer of 1985, I knew that he was a director to be
reckoned with. The cinematic style of CREEPERS, the significantly edited American version of the much longer international
cut of PHENOMENA, made me eager to seek out his previous work up to that point.
I simply had to see his other movies. I also had a very strong desire to read
about him and his films, although I was hard-pressed to find anything in
writing as there was a dearth of material available to me. With the exception
of several back issues of Fangoria magazine, I could find literally nothing on
the Italian maestro. At that time, the
Internet was not available to the public, so there was no such thing as typing
his name into a search engine to locate articles or criticism on his work. I
would have given anything for a hardcover copy of Alan Jones's DARIO ARGENTO:
THE MAN, THE MYTHS AND THE MOVIES in my hand.
Nearly three decades after I stumbled out of the multiplex filled with
excitement after having seen CREEPERS, unfairly labeled by critics and even
die-hard fans as one of his worst films, Mr. Jones's book, published near the
end of last year, is quite simply the definitive book on Mr. Argento, and a
true valentine to his favorite film director.
|PROFONDO ARGENTO, published in 2004|
For those of you who
purchased PROFONDO ARGENTO in 2004, this is essentially the same book, however
it has been updated to include Mr. Argento's work since then. The original manuscript has been left
completely intact along with all of the beautiful photographs that illustrate
the now 400-page second edition.
While other brilliant
works have been written about Dario Argento by writers as diverse as Maitland
Gallant and James
Gracey, Mr. Jones goes the extra step of including lots of in-depth
interviews with not only Mr. Argento himself, but those closest to him who
worked with him over the past 40 years.
Mr. Jones is not just an interviewer. He has visited the set of just
about every project that Mr. Argento has worked on since OPERA was filmed in
the early summer of 1987.
Mr. Argento began his
career in the industry as a film critic for a local Italian newspaper in the
1960's. It helped enormously that his
father Salvatore was already in the film business and he managed to get his son
a contract to make his very first film, the highly cinematic THE BIRD WITH THE
CRYSTAL PLUMAGE. It's amazing to me that
this is the very first film that Mr. Argento has directed. Most people make
short films or mess around with their closest friends and a camera prior to making
even a short film. BIRD solidified the
director's signature style which is evident from the very first frame.
Architecture and off-kilter camera moves are just some of his trademarks that
would find their way into his successive films.
If you are a fan of Mr. Argento's
films, you owe it to yourself to have this new edition in your collection.
to order the hardcover book from Amazon.com.
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