7/17/2017

The Stendhal Syndrome (1996) ****

Despite some flaws I find this to be one of Argento's best films that only seems to get better on subsequent viewings. As far as star ratings go, I'd even rate STENDHAL higher than FOUR FLIES, CAT O' NINE TAILSTENEBREPHENOMENA, and OPERA, though I've watched most of those films more than this one.

In some regards, STENDHAL feels more extreme than other Argento films. While just about all of his films feature graphic violence, unless my memory fails me, few of Argento's other films have this level of sexual violence (including multiple rape scenes). These scenes are made particularly disturbing due to Argento having cast his daughter Asia as the lead on the receiving end of said violence. Speaking of, her performance is quite diverse, but unfortunately undermined a bit (as is the film in general) by being overdubbed.

More highlights: the cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno is stunning (this one doesn't really look or feel like any other Argento film), the theme by Morricone is haunting and infectious, and the sound design can be immersive at times. Overall a disturbing and unique film.

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