Following hugely successful tributes to directors including Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini, the BFI and Cinecittà have joined forces once again for Dario Argento: Doors into Darkness, a new month-long season taking place from 1 to 30 May 2023 at BFI Southbank.
For over five decades, Dario Argento has produced some of horror’s most beautifully nightmarish imagery – from the sleek, stylish shocks of his hugely influential crime thrillers, through to the gothic phantasmagoria of his occult horrors, and everything in between. Audiences will be able to hear about Argento’s long and storied career during Dario Argento in Conversation on 12 May, as well as during introductions and Q&A s that Argento will give alongside screenings of some of most iconic films.
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The season will feature the UK premieres of 17 brand-new 4K restorations, courtesy of season partner Cinecittà, including his soaring debut The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), the whodunit The Cat O’ Nine Tails (1971), Freudian nightmare Deep Red (1975), the gamechanging masterpiece Suspiria (1977), the icy meta-giallo Tenebrae (1982), his only feature-length American production Trauma (1993), and many more.
A selection of Dario Argento’s films will also be available to subscribers to BFI Player, allowing audiences UK -wide to rediscover the work of this master of horror, while a video essay introducing the season called Strange Phenomena will also be available to watch on BFI YouTube from 17 Apr.
“Unquestionably one of the most influential names in the history of horror cinema, there is no other filmmaker who crafts worlds as exquisitely styled and nightmarishly surreal as Dario Argento,” said Michael Blyth, the season’s curator and senior film programmer at BFI Festivals. “It’s a pleasure to collaborate with Cinecittà on this celebration of his groundbreaking work, and to welcome him to BFI Southbank during the season. Rarely has terror looked so beautiful.”
Camilla Cormanni and Paola Ruggiero, of Cinecittà, said: “We are proud to present in London, thanks to the well established collaboration with the British Film Institute, the retrospective dedicated to Dario Argento, one of the cult directors of Italian cinema. Creator of a genre that mixes psychological thriller, mystery and horror with splatter notes, Argento has created artworks where visionary power, aesthetic research, and an almost maniacal attention to photography and sound, have represented the distinctive features of his inimitable talent. We are very happy to have given back to the audiences 17 of the director’s films to their original glory, thanks to a meticulous digital restoration work. It is an honour for Cinecittà to celebrate a living author who continues, with his art, to be honoured and emulated by many fans all over the world.”
Tickets are on sale to BFI Patrons and Champions on 3 April, BFI Members on 4 April and to the general public on 6 April.
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