Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 31st, 2004
“I like women, especially beautiful ones. If they have a good face and figure, I would much prefer to watch them being murdered than an ugly girl or man. I certainly don’t have to justify myself to anyone about this. I don’t care what anyone thinks or reads into it. I have often had journalists walk out of interviews when I say what I feel about this subject.” – Dario Argento
Dario Argento was born on September 7, 1940 in Rome, Italy, the first born son of famed Italian producer ‘Salvadore Argento’ and Brazilian fashion model Elda Luxardo. Argento bases most of his movies on childhood trauma and he was also impressed by the works of The Brothers Grimm and Edger Allan Poe. Dario worked as a columnist on the newspaper Paese Sera before becoming a director. Sergio Leone would ask Dario to collaborate on the screenplay for Once Upon a Time in The West and he would also write a few more Spaghetti Western scripts before writing Bird with the Crystal Plumage.
Dario decided to direct Bird with the Crystal Plumage because he did not want any other director messing up with the production and his screenplay. When The Bird with the Crystal Plumage became an international hit Dario would follow up with two more thrillers in the same vein Cat O’ Nine Tails and Four flies on Grey Velvet with The Bird with the Crystal Plumage these films are referred to as the animal trilogy. Dario would take a break from the giallo genre and direct some T.V. and the historical TV drama Five Days of Milan before returning the giallo genre that had made him famous. Deep Red Dario’s next film would mark the first collaboration between him and the rock group Goblin. Deep Red is consider by most to be not only Dario’s best film, but the best giallo ever made. His next two films would venture into the supernatural Suspiria and Inferno both films visual tapestries of vivid colors and dream like narratives draw the viewer into nightmarish worlds in which anything and everything can and will happen.
Tenebre would see Dario return to the giallo genre that had been his bread and butter followed by Phenomena. After Phenomena Dario would take a brief break from directing and produce films before returning to the directors chair for Opera one of his most brutal giallo’s to date. After the failure of Opera Dario would settle in America and make Two Evil Eyes with George Romero and Trauma which would star his daughter Asia. In the mid-1990’s Dario would return to Italy and return to form with The Stendhal Syndrome followed by his misunderstood remake of Phantom of The Opera. Sleepless would see Dario return once again to the giallo genre one more time while The Card Player making his first straight forward thriller. Dario has expressed his desire to complete the three mothers trilogy and no matter what he does from here on out he has left a legacy of films that has influenced and helped shape cinema in Italy and around the world.
Mother of Tears (2007)
Do You Like Hitchcock? (2005)
The Card Dealer (2004)
Dario Argento’s The Phantom of the Opera (1998)
The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)
Dario Argento’s Trauma (1994)
Two Evil Eyes (1991) – (segment “The Black Cat”)
Deep Red (1975)
Door Into Darkness (1973) (TV)
The Five Days of Milan (1973)
Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1972)
The Cat o’ Nine Tails (1971)
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)