L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo (1970)
Pssst, want to check out L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo in our new look?
See all comments
"Go to Italy. It's a peaceful country. Nothing ever happens there."
Even though this was Dario Argento's debut feature it is remarkably well made; extremely confident, bursting with cinematic flair and bags of atmosphere in what was to become his trademark style, for good and for bad. Like the later "Deep Red" and "Suspiria" he is scores highly on the visuals and atmosphere - several scenes are beautifully shot and cleverly conceived - for example the opening attack inside a white art gallery, the protagonist trapped between two huge glass walls able to watch but unable to help or hear the screams of the injured woman - but low on basic plot logic, a competent script and character motivation, and it is full of the violent misogyny rife in the Giallo genre Argento exemplified. He is more interested in the way a razor would realistically cut the skin of a woman being murdered than what any sane person or basically functioning police department would do if investigating a serial killer. To criticise Argento for realism or logic is a little silly for exactly that reason, as a master of style it really doesn't matter why the police allow and encourage a civilian to pursue an independent investigation when he is directly involved, or why he repeatedly puts his and his girlfriend's lives at risk when directly threatened.
The final twist is nothing extraordinary by today's standards, even predictable, where a thriller needing a twist has now become the norm it's not hard to find one. It also falls apart under too much scrutiny, but again, Argento probably wasn't too bothered about that - as an exercise in style and pure cinema Argento was undoubtedly firing on all cylinders right from the start.
The high point is the set piece at the gallery, and it's unfortunate that the film never touches that greatness again.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!
In 4 official lists
View all lists this movie is in
This movie ranks #42 in The Deuce Top 20
This movie ranks #270 in They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?
This movie ranks #272 in Empire 500
This movie ranks #510 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die