Some reprehensible situations: Dario Argento and the giallo

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


Italian horror cinema has a curious reputation. During the peak of Italian film production from the late 1950s to the early 1980s, genre filmmakers were often accused of piggybacking on the popularity of more successful films and merely producing rapidly and poorly made copies. Critic, writer and director Luigi Cozzi famously said that the Italian genre film industry was one that was marked by its exploitation film qualities. In his words, Italian film producers would never ask what your film was like – they would only ask what film is your film like? As he noted, “That’s the way it is, we can only make Zombie 2, never Zombie 1”. But the giallo stood apart as a natively Italian film genre. Usually centred around a witness to a crime who turns amateur detective, the giallo is at turns highly stylised, hugely inventive and agonisingly problematic. It is a peculiarly Italian film genre that took influences from – and in turn influenced – a range of international literary and film genres.

This talk will explore the nature of the Italian ‘genre factory’ and in so doing contextualise the influence of a filmmaker who reshaped and redefined the giallo: Dario Argento. Often labelled ‘the Italian Hitchock’ Argento’s films are noted for their stunning visuals and bravura murder set-pieces, but also challenged for a perceived misogyny and lack of logic.
Period28 Oct 2023
Event title The Norwegian Federation of Film Societies (Seminar Series): Special Focus: Horror Movies
Event typeOther
LocationOslo, NorwayShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational