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Dario Argento

Dario Argento

Dario Argento was born in Rome in 1940 and began his career as a film critic while he was still in school. He later moved on to screenwriting and eventually direction. His directorial debut came in 1970 when he released The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. Most of his early works were thrillers with horror elements but in 1977 Argento made one of the greatest horror films ever, the frightening supernatural chiller Suspiria.

The year after Suspiria was released Argento worked with his good friend George A. Romero and helped him to raise the budget for zombie classic Dawn of the Dead.

Suspiria was to be the first part in a trilogy about ancient witches now living and operating in various modern day cities. He followed it up with Inferno in 1980 but the concluding part, Mother of Tears, didn't follow until 2007.

Throughout the eighties Argento continued to make thriller and horror films. There was the controversial Tenebre in 1982, Phenomena in 1985, Opera in 1987 and the Poe inspired Two Evil Eyes in 1990 which saw Argento direct the second part in a double bill with Romero directing the first film.

Argento continued to make films every couple of years throughout the nineties, outputting titles such as Trauma, The Stendhal Syndrome and Phantom of the Opera. His popularity and critical acclaim waned somewhat but then the 2001 release Sleepless was hailed as return to form by many critics. He followed it up with the less successful The Card Player in 2004.

Argento has long been a fan of the giallo genre and indeed many of his movies have been categorised in this way. Generally they are crime thrillers with horror elements. His latest film is due for release in 2009 and entitled simply Giallo.

Often misunderstood and underrated by critics Dario Argento is a superbly skilled director with a flair for unusual camera angles and long flowing shots. He also likes to create bizarre chilling characters and often utilises fantastic visually stunning settings. He has been criticised for his obsession with dramatic gory murder scenes and the fact that plot is often secondary in his film making. However there can be no doubt that Argento is extremely talented and wonderfully imaginative.

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