Friday, November 9, 2018

Death Wears A Yellow Jacket

What with Luca Guadagnino's new Suspiria, homage, and last month’s Argento retrospective at Metrograph, ‘giallo’ would seem to be the genre della giornata. Yet with its supernatural core and hyperbolic stylization, Argento's original Suspiria (1977) barely qualifies as giallo at all, and as for Guadagnino's version – pointedly not a remake – it seems to bear as much relation to the genre as the faux perfume-ad gialli tributes of Forzani and Cattet.

That said, to pin down the precise nature of the filmic giallo is notoriously difficult. The definition provided by prolific genre screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi – ‘a difficult-to-explain event and its rigorously logical explanation based on the evidence and details provided in the story’ – is as opaque as many of his plots. Yet just as the spaghetti western can be identified by time and place, the giallo can be pegged to early 1970s Europe, and while motivation and behaviour may often beggar belief, apparently supernatural elements will always be a killer’s ruse, or a dream...

posted by tom newth at

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