25 October 2014

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)
98 min.
Directed by Dario Argento.
With Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Eva Renzi, Enrico Maria Salerno, and Mario Adorf, Reggie Nalder.
Dario Argento's earliest horror film is also one of his best. Bird marks the start of the Italian Maestro's charming Animal Trilogy, as well as his first credit as director.

Tony Musante is Sam, an American writer living in Rome who witnesses an attempted murder at a gallery. The victim survives, but not surprisingly, curious Sam gets involved in the case itself and before long becomes a target of the black-gloved killer.

A prime example of the "giallo" thriller, Bird features several of Argento's touches which would become staples in his later films (such as 1975's Profondo Rosso): stark setpieces, the black-gloved killer, the whispered threats, stylish camera shots, and especially a plot involving a protagonist who slowly remembers clues which are the key to the puzzle.

Argento can't lay claim to inventing these gialli conventions, but he did lend them a trademark emphasis all his own.

Italian: L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo.

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