Thursday, September 15, 2005

The matrix

Blood and Black Lace (Sei donne per l'assassino - Mario Bava, 1964) is not a movie.
It's an aesthetical performance.

No need for a scenario. Bava seems to obsessively focus on achieving one goal: shooting the most visually striking murder scenes ever. And this is what this film is all about: a collection of hyper-designed crimes. Within this context, the storyline becomes completely anecdotical and secondary.

In fact, the aesthetics of the crimes is the story. This, in my opinion, makes the movie totally experimental.

If The girl who knew too much, one year earlier, was laying out Giallo's fundamental themes - but still in a very Hitchcok-ian visual style -, Blood and Black Lace is probably the strongest statement of Giallo's visual codes ever made. The blades and black gloves. The use of lightning and colours. The amazing camera angles. The act of killing turned into a pictural work of art.
Closer to painting than cinema.

Every scene seems to be the mother of dozens of others that would later be shot by younger directors during Giallo's golden age - starting by the famous "bathtub scene" which would soon become one of the most classic exercises of the genre.

Aesthetically, Blood and Black Lace can be considered the Giallo matrix.

A lot of web resources on Bava and "Blood & Black Lace", most notably Kinoeye's article here, The Mario Bava Web page here and Images Journal's review there.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sylvain, I'm really enjoying your blog. You seem to be consistently touching on a lot of the stuff that I find most interesting and fascinating about giallos, and which a lot of other critics seem to miss. I hope you can keep this blog going for a long while.

I agree that BLOW UP is an important film. The way it treats the investigation, looking, the aesthetics of photography and an architectural way of filming things is all very fascinating and thought-provoking.

I think it would be possible to do a whole month sometime on DEEP RED, as I think the film is a very 'deep' one for a lot of reasons.

I'm looking forward to the Blue Underground giallos out next month, and hope we get more good ones soon. I agree that some are good and some are bad, but I think the best ones redeem the bad ones and make the whole genre a good one to rest your thoughts upon and think about a lot of things.


Sylvain L. said...

Dear Anthony, thanks for reading the blog. I am very glad you find it insightful. There's more to come on Blow Up, and of course Deep Red will have its turn sooner or later. Stay tuned!