Thursday, July 07, 2005

What have you thought of Solange?


Liam, who is a professor at the University of New Mexico, contacted me yesterday. He is teaching a course in Giallo cinema (indeed this sounds interesting), and would like to gather information about Massimo Dallamano's "What have you done to Solange?" for a lecture next week.

If some of you have already investigated this giallo, or if you have seen a good analysis of it on the web, please post a comment on this article or contact me by email, I will be happy passing your precious point of view to him.

Many thanks in advance.


6 comments:

Whiggles said...

Solange, I think, is a film about communication and what happens when we keep secrets from each other. Virtually everyone in the film has a secret - for example, Enrico hides his affair with Elizabeth from his wife; the girls hide Solange's ordeal from the authorities - and they keep quiet about them despite the fact that, by not telling the appropriate people, they put themselves in even more danger. For Enrico, his initial refusal to confess to his affair makes him a potential suspect in the murder of the first girl. For the other girls, their refusal to confess about Solange means that they are picked off one by one and can't go to the police. It is quite noteworthy, in my opinion, that Solange cannot talk. She is the one person who could explain exactly what is happening, but she can't. While the others refuse to talk out of their own volition, she has no choice in the matter and is an unwilling victim. Her father the headmaster, despite committing his crimes in her name, abuses her muteness in order to get away with murder. The irony is that, while Solange herself utters no words, her behaviour and the expression on her face say more about the emotional damage that has been done to her than words ever could.

Secrets are a common theme in gialli, but they are taken to new heights in Solange, where everyone seems to conspire to keep something hidden.

Sylvain L. said...

Thanks Michael - this raises my interest as I haven't seen this movie yet. I've also seen comments about a underlying message on abortion. Does anybody have a point of view on this?

Whiggles said...

I didn't realize you hadn't seen the film, Sylvain. I hope I haven't spoiled it for you. Solange is one of the best gialli made, in my opinion, and you should definitely see it as soon as possible.

Dr. Lee Fratantuono said...

"Solange" is the best giallo I have ever seen, and I have seen most of them.

For one thing, it was made in 1972, right at the time when abortion was becoming a major issue in Western Europe and America. "Solange" - along with the 1974 Canadian horror film "Black Christmas" - remain two of the rare films that explore abortion.

The film succeeds because of the score, the cinematography, the setting and some of the older characters, which gives it just enough respectability, and the magnificent performance by the lovely Cristina Galbo in one of her rare movie appearances. She could have made a career out of giallos.

Some genuinally creepy and thought-provoking scenes abound: the scene of Hilda's funeral is very well done.

Whiggles said...

Dr. Lee, have you seen La Residencia a.k.a. The House That Screamed? It's a 1969 Spanish horror movie also featuring an excellent performance from Cristina Galbo who, I agree, should have done more films.

Lee said...

Yes, La Residencia, especially uncut, is another very fine film to track down...

Cristina Galbo apparently now teaches flamenco dancing. Her life had its own tragedy...she was married to a young German at the time she made Solange who died of a brain tumor soon thereafter.