Dario Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet
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As with the previous two entries in the unofficial Animal Trilogy, Four Flies on Grey Velvet is short on explicit gore but brimming with atmosphere and artistic ingenuity, with set-piece murders primed and mined for maximum tension. It was with this film that Argento began to cement his particular style and is something of a crucible for future ideas. The murder of Roberto's maid in a local park foreshadows John Saxon's fate in Tenebre, and with its sudden lapses in time and attempted escape through the cobwebbed space between two buildings (to a soundtrack of whispers and sighs) it also sows seeds that would flourish in Suspiria. Other visual motifs (crimson curtains, extreme close-ups, inanimate objects suddenly wielded by a seemingly maniacal camera) would be repeated or re-jigged in Deep Red, Phenomena and Opera.
Argento's original intention was to have a gay protagonist and though the character of Roberto is still open to such a reading - his victimisation being as a result of a fear of being outed (as a murderer) has obvious correlations (note also Brandon's shaggy mane v Farmer's gamine crop or the rather tame bathtub scene with Francine Racette which sees Roberto playfully seducing his mirror image) - the more overt references are passed to Jean-Pierre Marielle who brings immense likeability to a small role as the PI hired by Roberto, and whose swish factor is tempered by a steely determination to finally cracking a case. A frosty Farmer acquits herself well, though Brandon is merely okay.Read more ›
As always, Argento's greatest strength is with imagery (a well considered use of color and spatial design, not to mention his love of POV shots).
I liked it enough to keep it in my collection for future viewing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Everything about this order was great - correct packaging, speedy delivery, and of course, a great film!Published 19 days ago by J.E. McFarland III
Amazing film and it's wonderful to have it as complete as possiblePublished 11 months ago by Hannibelectro
Good mystery and loved the bath tub scene, surprise ending.Published 14 months ago by A. J. Morley808
Being a fan of Dario Argento I decided to take a gamble on this movie. Dario's earlier work is what had defined him. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Gino B Sinopoli
First off, once again I received an order from Amazon with 2 out of 3 disc cases in my order including Four Flies on Grey Velvet being broken and pieces of plastic jostling around... Read morePublished on April 24, 2014 by Fred
It was great. I got it for my son who had been looking for it for some time. He is a Dario Argento fan. Good quality and came quicker than I expected. Well packaged.Published on April 14, 2014 by Cicely Jones
If you want to complete your Argento "Animal Trilogy" or if you just like stylish giallo-cinema, look no further. This release is Quality, with a capital Q. Read morePublished on March 21, 2013 by N.C.
I spent years telling myself that "One day, I'll watch all of Argento's movies!". Well, up until recently, I'd only seen DEEP RED, TENEBRE, PHENOMENA, and SUSPIRIA. Read morePublished on March 28, 2011 by Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein