Anyone who reads this site is familiar with my love of Dario Argento – even some of his later stuff. So I’m very much looking forward to another thoughtful dissection of his work. So much has already been written on the subject, but I feel like there’s plenty more to talk about.
That’s why we at Dread Central are eagerly anticipating L. Andrew Cooper’s simply titled Dario Argento (Contemporary Film Directors) from University of Illinois Press.
From the Press Release
Commanding a cult following among horror fans, Italian film director Dario Argento is best known for his work in two closely related genres, the crime thriller and supernatural horror. In his four decades of filmmaking, Argento has displayed a commitment to innovation, from his directorial debut with 1970’s suspense thriller The Bird with the Crystal Plumage to 2009’s Giallo. His films, like the lurid yellow-covered murder-mystery novels they are inspired by, follow the suspense tradition of hard-boiled American detective fiction while incorporating baroque scenes of violence and excess.
L. Andrew Cooper uses controversies and theories about the films’ reflections on sadism, gender, sexuality, psychoanalysis, aestheticism, and genre to declare the anti-rational logic of Argento’s oeuvre. Approaching the films as rhetorical statements made through extremes of sound and vision, Cooper places Argento in a tradition of aestheticized horror that includes De Sade, De Quincey, Poe, and Hitchcock. He reveals how the director’s stylistic excesses, often condemned for glorifying misogyny and other forms of violence, offer productive resistance to the cinema’s visual, narrative, and political norms.
L. Andrew Cooper is an assistant professor of film and digital media at the University of Louisville and the author of Gothic Realities: The Impact of Horror Fiction on Modern Culture.
You can snag a copy by heading over to Amazon via the links below, and watch for a review from us soon!
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