Deep Red (Profondo Rosso)
Stands alongside Suspiria as one of Dario Argento’s mid-career peak films
Deep Red stands beside such work as The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Suspiria as the most interesting of Dario Argento’s mid-career peak films. Its captivating visuals, all clean lines, whites and chromes contrasting with dark mahogany interiors and the bloodstains of the title emblematise the wild paranoiac disjunction between interior lives and the clinical exteriors of the contemporary world.
In it, David Hemmings’ composer is, like so many Argento protagonists, an artist using the idea of perspective and its various distorting effects to uncover a serial killer whose work he has witnessed. The search for the killer is rendered more urgent when Hemmings realises that he is a suspect – like Argento’s dancers, painters and writers placed in similar situations, understanding history and deviance is part of the task. As ever the piece teems with ideas, this time about art, gender roles and sexuality, and is splendidly offset by a strong central performance and engaging support from Daria Nicolodi as an eccentric feminist journo. Available on both Blu-ray and DVD formats with a ton of extras, the biggest of which is that there are two versions of the film, both by turns visually seductive and disturbing.