28 July 2014

The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974)
99 min.
Directed by Francesco Barilli.
With Mimsy Farmer, Maurizio Bonuglia, Mario Scaccia, Donna Jordan, Orazio Orlando, Nike Arrighi.
This haunting giallo/thriller is a delicate triumph of mood and paranoid psychosis.

Poor Silvia (Farmer) is troubled: her childhood memories have become present hallucinations. A mysterious little girl has become her playmate. Her apartment neighbors seem increasingly sinister.

But is Silvia's mental breakdown occurring within a vacuum all its own...or is something altogether evil (and very real) driving her towards an inevitable insanity, towards her own death?

Beautifully crafted by director Barilli, Perfume takes some cues from Roman Polanski's Apartment Trilogy, consistently striking a near perfect balance between Silvia's fragile psychology and the real conspiracy around her.

Farmer (on whom the whole enterprise depends) is wonderful throughout.

Great score by composer Nicola Piovani!

Italian: Il Profumo della signora in nero.

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