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Dario Argento Paperback – 20 May 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Kamera Books; FILM edition (20 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842433180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842433188
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 362,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Belfast-based writer and horror fanatic. His first book, a guide to the films of Dario Argento, is available now courtesy of Kamera Books. He has written for Film Ireland, Fangoria, Eye For Film and The Quietus. He currently contributes to Paracinema, Exquisite Terror and Diabolique.

Product Description


I have never been a huge fan of gialli (the plural form of `giallo'). In my very limited experience with the sub-genre, they tend to be plodding and boring, usually preferring style over story or action. Concerning Dario Argento in particular, I have seen Suspiria and Trauma, both of which bored me to tears. Yes I know, Suspiria isn't a giallo and Trauma isn't considered one of his best films, whatever. Despite my obvious minority opinion on the subject, Argento is considered one of the greatest Italian horror directors of all time and still makes movies to this day, his latest entitled simply Giallo.
In March of this year relatively unknown (in the U.S. anyway) British publisher Kamera Books released the simply titled book Dario Argento by James Gracey. From Kamera's website:

The stylistic and bloody excesses of the films of Dario Argento are instantly recognisable. Vivid, baroque and nightmarish, his films lock violent deaths in a twisted embrace with an almost sexual beauty. Narrative and logic are often lost in a constant bombardment of atmosphere, technical mastery and provocative imagery. Its a body of work which deals explicitly with death and violence, all the while revelling in perversely alluring stylistics and shot through with an unflinching intensity.

Setting the tone with earlier gialli films such as The Animal Trilogy and Deep Red, Argento has steadily pushed the boundaries; through his elaborately gothic fairytales Suspiria and Inferno, right up to his more recent contributions to TV's Masters of Horror compendium and the conclusion of his Three Mothers trilogy, Mother of Tears: The Third Mother. Along the way, his prowling camera work, pounding scores and stylistic bloodshed have only gained in intensity and opulence.
After a very informative introduction describing Argento the man, his influence on horror films and an overview of his works, you are treated to a very in-depth analysis of each of his films. Each chapter is entitled with the different series (Animal Trilogy, Darkness & Milan, Blood Runs Deep, etc.) and contains the breakdown for each movie in the series. The examination of each film is broken down by the credits, synopsis, background, comments, style and technical, themes, music and finally the overall verdict. Some readers may find this format a little dry, but the knowledge dropped by Gracey is impressive and very thorough. As someone who is not a fan of Argento, this book actually put a bug in my ear to check out his early work.
Pick up the book on the Kamera Books website if you are at all interested in Argento, gialli or horror in general. --Cinesploitation

"Do you yourself a favor, pick up this book, and let it guide you into the realms of an Italian Horror master."
-- Website: HORRORNEWS

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A.C.P. on 12 July 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a really good overview of Argento's work, which manages to be both a concise film-by-film reference, and an insightful essay on the pervy themes running through them all. Unusually for a book on cult films, it manages to strike a perfect balance between fandom and serious criticism; neither too geeky or overly intellectual, which is particularly welcome in the reviews. Even though I've been into giallo films for a while, I found plenty of facts that were new to me here. Very readable, nicely illustrated and laid out, and it really makes you want to seek out films you haven't seen yet.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Wonderful Comprehensive Guide 10 July 2010
By Jacob Gustafson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Dario Argento by James Gracey is a wonderful resource for all of us Argentophiles. It includes a brief biographical background on him but the book focuses on every single film Argento worked on. All of em. Including the films he produced! Included is a complete listing of the actors,writers,producers etc, a detailed synopsis, background on the production, comments, style/technical details, music, themes, and a final verdict FOR EVERY FILM. It's incredible. The amount of detail, information and analysis is astounding. Beyond that the book is a treasure trove of info on his filmography I had no idea about. Did you know that Argento did an Italy only comedy after Cat of Nine Tails? I didn't! Its always a pleasure to learn more about the films you love and the directors you admire. If you appreciate Dario Argento, the godfather of the giallo, do yourself a favor. Pick up James Gracey's book. And while you're at it, check out his website[...]
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not comprehensive but a good starter kit for ARGENTO 12 Aug. 2011
By J. Krall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got this for the Kindle and am really glad I did. Though I was already very familiar with the films of Argento, this book gave me a quick refresher course. It also gave some nice tidbits about the production of the movies (both the ones he directed as well as produce).

This obviously has some of the author's opinions on the movies so be prepared to groan in disagreement. That being said, the book is a handy reference for Italian horror fans. It gives technical information, commentary, background, etc. It's not as detailed as some of the other books on Argento but that's okay. I prefer quick and to-the-point books like this one.

Recommended for casual as well as hardcore Argento fans.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Bloody Good Read 2 July 2010
By B. Wells - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For the many filmgoers familiar with Italian horror, Dario Argento is a revered name, a standard-bearer of high style, lush cinematography, gory deaths, and edge-of-your-seat suspense. While the quality of his movie outings may have ebbed and flowed over the course of his 40+ year career, his true fans are seldom deterred by bad reviews. I've been taken to task more than once over my reviews of "Cat o'Nine Tails", which even Mr. Argento considers his least favorite film. However, in James Gracey's aptly titled "Dario Argento" from Kamera Books, I learned enough about "Cat" to stimulate my interest and actually make me want to see it again. Obviously a huge Argento fan (and one of Italian horror, as well) Gracey has produced a slender, gracefully written volume that briefly scans the filmmaker's early life before zooming in on each of Argento's films, as well as his various other projects. Each film is well-documented with interesting facts, conveniently divided into (mostly) eight areas: synopsis, background, comments, style, themes, music, trivia, and verdict. Also included are the casts and crews, providing further enlightenment to those of us interested in this particular genre. Gracey's enthusiasm for his subject and his output is contagious, and so well organized and thoughtfully presented, that it prompted me to not only revisit "Cat", but also to check out some of Argento's other work that I had previously written off due to bad word of mouth. Overall, a fast, fascinating read for movie fans and aspiring filmmakers, alike.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Dead good 13 April 2013
By LC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Really comprehensive and insightful guide, would highly recommend it!Excellent overall insight into his complete works(even the tv films)and written in a very engaging manner, with a very interesting introduction.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Love it 8 May 2013
By Anonymous - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been an Argento fan for a long time, so this book is one of my favorites. Great for fans or for film enthusiasts interested in learning more about horror.
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