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Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento Paperback – 2010
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Virtually unknown to mainstream moviegoers in the U.S. and even to most connoisseurs of foreign films, Italian director Dario Argento is highly esteemed among aficionados of the cinematic extremities. He's been called the Italian Hitchcock, but his work--11 films in the horror and thriller genres during the last 25 years--is far more lurid and violent than Hitchcock's. Argento often dispenses with such niceties as character development and narrative coherence in favor of the over-the-top effects his fans love; for example, in one film, a killer's madness is illustrated by shots of his pulsating brain. Most of Argento's American following consists of "psychotronic" types who disdain the scholarly critical approach, but for its verve, individualism, and technical virtuosity, Argento's work warrants such treatment. McDonagh strikes an effective balance between intellectuality and enthusiasm, offering film-by-film commentary enlivened by a generous helping of poster and production-still reproductions and topping everything off with a recent interview with Argento in which he admits, "I like when people are disgusted, because it means you've made an impression on them. A deep impression." Gordon Flagg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Maitland McDonagh is a film critic and TV commentator who maintains her own Web site, MissFlickChick.com. She was the senior movies editor of TVGuide.com from 1995 to 2008.
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Top customer reviews
As for the rest of the book. The author mentions that Deep Red (one of Argento's key movies) takes place in Rome. The movie is shot in Turin and a famous square of this city is the stage of one of the key scenes in the movie. Not only that, but Turin (for a number of important reasons) is a key city in all of Argento's work. That gives you the scale of how misguided the author of this book is.
Unfortunately, not much has been written about Argento's and most of the insightful work is all in italian, so not available to a wider audience. Having said that, the book im reviewing is a very fragile attempt to interpret the work of a master of modern cinema.
On a personal note, i have find rather insulting the fact that the 'updated version' of the book is nothing more that a quick and brute catalogue of argento's more recent work which is dismissed with the sort of 'like/dislike' attitude that you would use to comment on a friends Facebook status. This is not critical reviewing, its fastfood writing.
Its very sad to know that this book could influence the understanding of Argento's opera. Its like having Picasso reviewed by Barbara Walters.
Anyway, i thought the money spent on this book were wasted. My suggestion would be to look for Argento Vivo and find a friend that can translate from the italian version. More importantly, disregard what the author of broken mirror says and watch with an open mind all of argento's work.forget the silly divisions (giallo vs. fantasy, early work vs recent stuff). He is an author, he creates, with his work he talks to us. Embrace him, accept him, rebel against him but give Argento the respect that anybody with a point of view on live and art deserves.
Most recent customer reviews
Worth owning, this.
Just ask anyone at Fangoria, the best-known magazine specializing in horror...Read more