Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Deep Red (1975)

WHO: Dario Argento directed this.

WHAT: If Suspiria is his best-known film, Deep Red must be the true fan favorite among his films. I say "must be" in part because I haven't seen it; I'm only sussing this out from how often (and how reverentially) it gets mentioned by hardcore giallo hounds I come into contact with. As Slant Magazine founder Ed Gonzalez wrote in the early days of that website: 
Deep Red was Dario Argento's first full-fledged masterpiece, a riveting thriller whose secrets carefully unravel via a series of carefully calibrated compositions that become not unlike virtual gateways into Freudian pasts. Like Argento's ever-flowing camera, Deep Red's killer is everywhere—the protagonist's claustrophobia becomes a physical response both to the film's oppressive mise-en-scène and Argento's formal framing.
WHERE/WHEN: Tonight only at 9:10 PM at the Castro Theatre.

WHY: Why haven't I seen this before? I've been awaiting just such an opportunity as tonight's: a screening in a grand cinema like the Castro, sure to be surrounded by aficionados as excited to see the film for the umpteenth time as I am for the first. To make this an even more appealing outing, Deep Red is paired with another film by an Italian director and starring David Hemmings: Michaeleangelo Antonioni's Blow Up, which has frequently been linked to Deep Red for less superficial reasons (a fact I first became aware of here.)

Deep Red is not the only 1970s horror movie on the current Castro calendar. This Friday Jesse Hawthorne Ficks hosts a "MiDNiTE" screening of my long-standing favorite film of that genre/era: Carrie. I hope it portends more Brian De Palma films at the venue soon.  And next weekend a few films that may not be considered out-and-out horror films to purists, but seem pretty related to me, screen: John Boorman's Deliverance plays on an April 26 double bill with a 35mm print of the theatrical cut of Steven Spielberg's made-for-television truck=monster movie Duel. And April 27 brings Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. I haven't seen Nicolas Roeg's & Donald Cammell's Performance before so I don't know if that should be grouped here or not. (It screens May 2nd.) But certainly Phillip Kaufman's 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers should, even if it's not on the current Castro calendar but will be on the next one, as it's being brought there May 5th by the San Francisco International Film Festival as part of an in-person tribute to Kaufman on the occasion of his receipt of the SFIFF's annual directing award.

HOW: Many of the aforementioned screenings will utilize DCP, but Blowup and Deep Red will both be shown from 35mm prints. 


  1. awesome! you're going to love it

    haven't seen it projected since the night it opened in NYC in 76