I got to see two Giallo films as a double feature at a local cinema last week. Both were projected from a DVD, and unfortunately the second disc was damged, and we didn't get to see the ending. Imo it was even better than the first one, though I won't be able t confirm it, unless I watch it completely On a side note, the script was written by Tonino Guerra under a pseudonym who is a living legend. Having worked amongst others for Antonioni, Pasolini, Tarkovski, and Angelopoulos, Guerra is without doubt one of the best and most influential scenarists of all time. Parts of it could be witnessed in this film. Nevertheless I will only write a few notes on the first film. I also managed to dig out a beautiful screenshot from it.
Il tuo vizio una stanza chiusa e solo io ne ho la chiave
Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key
(Sergio Martino / Italy / 1972)
I think this was actually the first Giallo film I've seen, and I was really impressed. Many people consider this a classic of the genre and I can see why it is appreciated. Still it has some considerable flaws, most apparent in the narrative which doesn't always make sense and has some apparent plot-holes. Nevertheless this doesn't distract too much from the overall impact. Based on the short story "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe, the film is more of a gothic horror film, than a giallo in the traditional sense. It creates a haunting atmosphere through an assured direction (I'll keep an eye out for more films by Sergio Martino), and the actors are well chosen. But the most impressive is clearly the fabulous camerawork. What Giancarlo Ferrando achieves with his camerawork can be placed alongside most other noteworthy 70s films, and I've rarely seen it done any better in a genre movie. Adapting to every situation he uses lighting and color in a masterful way, switching from completely artificial sets to documentary-styled sequences shot on location. The compositions of certain images and even sequences are at times flawless, and the way he for example switches from a close-up to a long-shot is responsible for a huge part of the impact of a certain scene. Breaking some conventional rules of Hollywood cinema, his work is inventive and original. The same goes for the editing. One sequence at the end of the film is pure genius, and deploys some of the editing devices used by Eisenstein or Godard to a surprising effect. Overall this is an extremely well made film which deserves to be seen.
64 out of 100