Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Venice before and after the fall

Despite having been shot by different directors and at a different period of time, both "Who Saw Her Die?" (1972) and "The Bloodstained Shadow" (1978), from the excellent Giallo Collection DVD set, show interesting symmetric links.

Example: Venice as a crucial element of the scenario.

In "Who saw her die?", Venice is like a stylish maze where the killer, the children and Franco play hide-and-seek. The settings are beautiful and neat, but the feeling is that it's a dangerous place where you can get lost. This is especially true when Franco's desperately looking for his daughter throughout the labyrinthic city. The architecture and topography are building mystery, tension, but somehow leaving some space for hope.

At the contrary, in "The Bloodstained Shadow", Venice looks like a ghost town: run-down, dirty, isolated and unappealing. A sad Venice. The opposite of anyone's dream picture of the city. Here the overall impression is a city which is lifeless and hopeless (in fact, Antonio Bido did not shoot his film in Venice, but in a nearby island called Murano, which is like a suburb of Venice). There's no doubt to have about the possibility of evil striking: it is already too late.

In one case Venice is a beautiful trap, in the other it is an abandoned cimetary.

This is just one example of the numerous connections between both films, on which we'll get back to in future posts.

Get the Giallo Collection DVD set here, and check out this picture of Murano's church - doesn't it ring a bell?
More on "Who saw her die?" in this blog here.

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