Most film lovers are obsessive collectors. It’s just how our brains are wired. It’s why we have all the Godfather films on the shelf, even though we only ever watch the first two, or why we have every Pirates of the Caribbean film even though we only ever watch the first two Godfathers. So, in that spirit, we took notice when our friends at Plato’s Cave, the podcast that became a radio show whilst remaining a podcast, added a new host at the start of the year.
Alexandra Heller-Nicholas joined the show in March of this year, and was a great addition: funny and knowledgeable, she immediately shot up our wishlist of Hi4H guests. And not just because it will complete our collection of Plato’s Cave hosts. Although we won’t pretend there’s not something satisfying about that. But, like the bowerbirds that we are, the moment we heard someone talking cinema in entertaining and engaging manner, we had to nab her for our show.
And so we are extremely delighted that Alexandra will be guest hosting our August episode of Hyphenates. But which filmmaker will she be discussing?
None other than the Italian master of giallo horror, Dario Argento!
Argento isn’t the only giallo filmmaker – giallo being that distinct type of Italian horror that often mixed detective story suspense with psychopathic slasher villains, employing elaborate camerawork and lurid colour schemes – but he is easily the best known.
After he collaborated with Sergio Leone and Bernardo Bertolucci on the script for Once Upon a Time in the West – and let that bizarre dream team tickle you brain for a moment – Argento made his directorial debut with The Bird With the Crystal Plumage, a huge box office hit in 1970. He then went on to make cult classics such as The Cat o’Nine Tails, Opera, Inferno and his most enduring work, Suspiria.
But what is it about Argento’s work that has captivated audiences – and Alex – so? And what hidden gems lie in the unexplored corners of his filmography? Join us on August 31 when we find out!