Doing Violence on Film
This book explores the extreme violence that pervades Dario Argento's films, and particularly the ways in which they push the limits of visual and auditory experience by offending, confusing, sickening, and baffling the viewers. It looks at Argento's approach to his work over more than four decades of filmmaking, and his commitment to innovation that is evident in two closely related genres whose disturbing violence reaches previously unrecorded levels of pain, suffering, and mental anguish: crime thriller and supernatural horror. From his directorial debut, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), to Giallo (2009), Argento's films challenge a viewer's accepted ideas about film spectatorship, meaning, storytelling, and genre. This book also looks at the centrality of collaboration, particularly with family, in Argento's work by analyzing sixteen films that feature him as writer and director. Finally, it discusses how Argento's films function as rhetorical interventions against dominant views on film criticism, interpretation, narrative, and conventions through an examination of interpretive possibilities that connect the films to broader tendencies in film history.
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