Monday, September 05, 2005

Born too late

In giallo, there seems to be a pre- and post-Deep Red era. As if after Argento's masterpiece, any other giallo would be made in vain.

Solamente Nero (The Bloodstained Shadow - Antonio Bido, 1978) clearly belongs to the post-Deep Red period.

Not that it's a bad giallo. Actually its opening scene is visually striking and catches you within seconds. The plot as well is rather good, as twisted and dark as it can get (and the doll dismembering scene alone is sick enough to make this film worth seeing).

Music is also a highlight, building angst in a very modern way. Composed by Stelvio Cipriani, it was nevertheless performed by Goblin for obscure money questions with their label, Cinevox.
And even this simple fact that the score comes from Goblin immediately puts this film in a "post-giallo golden age" period.

Bido's mise-en-scène is quite daring and imaginative, yet the overall feeling is that even he does not completely believe in what he's doing. All the right ingredients are here, but the plate does not taste as good as it should. Maybe it was served too late.

And this might well be the key: Antonio Bido made this film too late. As if he wanted to move back in time, to compensate for missed opportunities. As if it was a "remake".
The director knows this: in the DVD's extras, he first stresses the fact that he had some influence on Dario Argento's work... and finally regrets he did not shoot more giallos.

"Solamente Nero", the nostalgic giallo.

As an illustration, the location of this film strongly contributes to this strange feeling: read more here from this blog.
And get the film there, from Anchor Bay.


Whiggles said...

I like Solamente Nero. It's completely derivative, especially of Argento's work, but I feel that Bido managed to craft a solid mystery with a good motive and he managed to conceal the villain's identity with some excellent misdirection. At any rate it's much better than his other giallo, The Cat With the Jade Eyes.

Rogerio said...

Hi there, Sylvain!

I was pleasently surprised to come across your blog! I´ll drop by often. Very often.
I also have a blog myself in which I write about giallos (in portuguese,
since that´s my native language) and I would be pleased to have your comments.

Take care,

meddle said...

I never really cared for The Bloodstained Shadow and it is the only film in the giallo collection that I haven’t watched twice. Bido’s other giallo Watch me when I kill wasn’t to good either. His films are just too generic and lack the style I have come to expect when watching a giallo.

Whiggles said...

I think you should give it another go sometime, Meddle. There's a lot in it I like and I find that there are some subtle touches that only become apparent with repeat viewings.