Dario Argento

"Argento's films are characterized by bold use of colour, massive close-ups, flamboyant camera movement, an insinuating scores... Argento is more than an "Italian Hitchcock:" he brings a contemporary Italian sensibility to the thriller genre, and his heart-stopping horror movies, with their dreamlike sequences and inventive use of music, make him an original." - Maitland McDonagh (501 Movie Directors, 2007)

Dario Argento

Director / Screenwriter / Producer / Composer
(1940- ) Born September 7, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Top 250 Directors

Key Production Country: Italy
Key Genres: Giallo, Psychological Thriller, Thriller, Horror, Mystery, Occult Horror
Key Collaborators: Franco Fraticelli (Editor), Daria Nicolodi (Leading Character Actress), Giuseppe Bassan (Production Designer), Salvatore Argento (Producer), Claudio Argento (Producer), Claudio Simonetti (Composer), Ennio Morricone (Composer), Franco Ferrini (Screenwriter), Romano Albani (Cinematographer), Luciano Tovoli (Cinematographer), Gabriele Lavia (Leading Character Actor), Fabio Pignatelli (Composer)

"The mechanics of fear, nothing else, are what concerns Argento, and the stories, which seem to make less and less sense as the films become more recent, are strictly of secondary concern in his frighteningly successful efforts to grind an audience into its seat... Argento has proved so good at this modern extension of the Val Lewton philosophy that one regrets the excess of bloodshed in his later films." - David Quinlan (Quinlan's Film Directors, 1999)
"As a director, Dario Argento very quickly established the status of a cult film phenomenon, whose works were praised and condemned in equal measure. Since 1970 he has directed 16 films, whose convoluted plotting, excessive visual style and unconventional gender twists have repeatedly upset established definitions of cinematic taste. Argento's films are all marked by an elaborate use of camera work, lighting and musical score. However, any artistic labels applied to these images are complicated by his insistence on using them as backdrops to scenes of sexual violence." - Xavier Mendik (Senses of Cinema, 2003)
"He entered Italian films as a screenwriter, collaborating on several action adventures, including the internationally popular Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). He turned director in the late 60s and over the years has established a reputation as Italy's stylish master of cheap blood and gore." - The MacMillan International Film Encyclopedia, 1994
"Taking his cue from Hitchcock, Argento often focuses on the stranger in a strange land who is drawn into - or even implicated - in murderous intrigue. And as in Hitchcock, or Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (1960), Argento's camera casts filmmaker and viewer alike as predatory voyeurs...His films' operatic relish in highly eroticized slaughter and the mutilation of beautiful women, often via brazenly phallic weapons, has led to accusations of misogyny." - Jessica Winter (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)
"Horror-film director and cult favourite credited as influencing most latter-day 'splatter' films." - Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia, 1995
"The process of writing and directing drives you to such extremes that it's natural to feel an affinity with insanity. I approach that madness as something dangerous and I'm afraid, but also I want to go to it, to see what's there, to embrace it. I don't know why but I'm drawn." - Dario Argento
TSPDT Guide
Recommended
Deep Red (1975)
Worth a Look
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1969), Suspiria (1977) , Inferno (1980), Tenebre (1982), Phenomena (1984), Opera (1987)
Approach with Caution
Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1972), The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films
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Films / Books
    Tenebre
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