Friday, November 25, 2005

Fulci's inner geography

"La lucertola con la pelle di donna" (A lizard in a woman's skin - Lucio Fulci, 1971) is not a giallo.
It's a documentary on Fulci's twisted mind. Actually, a dive into both his mind and his body.

The early years spent by the director as a medical student left strong marks. The fascination for the body as an experimental object went to define Fulci's whole work.
And there's here more than a fair share of this obsession. From close ups on the knife striking the chest during the initial murder scene to the infamous eviscerated dogs sequence, of course Fulci's trademark is here. Physically. Viscerally.

But the body's inside is also very present on a symbolic level: tunnels, corridors, doors opening on dark rooms, spiral staircases draw the complex map of a threatening and surreal labyrinth Carol (Florinda Bolkan) gets trapped in across the film, where imagination and reality end up melting together.
The church scene for example, where Carol is chased by the hippy: the underground hide-and-seek game, where they're running across dark tunnels and overlapping arches, as if they were in a parallel dimension. And the massive church organ where Carol hides next, only to be discovered when the giant pipes start playing by accident, creating a scary symphony as she tries to escape the machinery.

Organs, pipes, underground tunnels and arches, the inner geography of a twisted body. And soul.

Lucio Fulci is a genre of its own. Read more here.

1 comment:

Whiggles said...

A Lizard in a Woman's Skin is a wonderful film, so subtextually deep. Every time I rewatch it I find something else to admire. I really wish someone would release a DVD that allows you to watch the uncut version in good quality and widescreen.