Dario Argento’s latest has been one of the biggest surprises of the festival. Surprising in that it’s absolutely hilarious, and by that I don’t mean a little bit funny, I mean as funny a film I’ve seen at the cinema in ages, comedies included. Giallo is Argento’s homage to the Italian thrillers of the 70s that so informed his early work and made his name. The film centres on Inspector Enzo Avolfi’s (Adrien Brody) hunt for an aerosol sniffing, rubber faced serial killer known simply as yellow, or in a classic line “you yellow fuck”, who targets beautiful young girls to torture and ‘make ugly’ before finally dispatching them. Tailing Brody’s renegade inspector (his “methods aren’t exactly by the book”) is the sister of a missing fashion model (Emmanuelle Seigner). The duo bumble around an Italian city populated by American-speaking Italians, making clunky revelations until the inevitable climactic chase.
Taking every staple of serial killer thrillers and hard-boiled detective films, Argento constructs the most hackneyed and clichéd film possible, filling his cast’s mouths with some of the most hilariously awful, clunky and absurd dialogue imaginable. Brody and Seigner play the entire thing 100% straight and you imagine there must be one hell of an out-takes reel somewhere. From Brody’s perpetual smoking and eternal frown to Seigner’s crazed histrionics there’s a sly gag going on here.
The problem, if there is one, is that so much of Argento’s recent work has been genuinely terrible, that there’s a nagging doubt as to how much of a parody he intended this to be. With the line between homage and parody blurry at the best of times, Giallo has understandably met with some mixed responses. Taken as simply an Argento horror film, and you’ll quite rightly dismiss it as another gross misfire and reason to give up on the old fella forever. Take it as an incredibly sly parody (the heavily made-up killer is credited as Byron Deidra, an anagram of Adrien Brody…) and you’ll most likely find much to enjoy. Whereas previous Argento failures have been just plain bad in terms of plot, dialogue or character, Giallo goes beyond this to meticulously pick up on the overused conventions of the genre and its typical script deficiencies. Affectionately highlighting the absurdities of these genre pieces, it’s very much (I hope) a self-referential in-joke.
Some of the famous Argento touches are still there, particularly in the trademark close-ups of knives bloodily piercing (latex) flesh and the eerie childhood flashbacks, but of course taken on parodic terms these become comical rather than scary or horrific. What it does make you sadly wonder is whether we’ll ever see the director do a proper horror film again, but arguably that possibility was scuppered sometime in the late 80s. Either way I can thoroughly recommend this as one of the most purely entertaining films of recent years
Kerozene a écrit:Il précise quand même qu'il n'est pas certain que c'est là la volonté de sieur Dario
NickLezob a écrit:C'est vachement moins drôle que Mother of Tears. Adrien Brody est quand même crédité à la production. Il a l'air désolé d'un bout à l'autre. On dirait qu'Argento n'a pas vu un film depuis 25 ans. M'enfin ça aurait pu être bien pire. J'aurais préféré.
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