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The Stendhal Syndrome [DVD]
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Is it art or the vilest perversions ever filmed?
Gorgeous Euro starlet Asia Argento (XXX) grows weak and is stripped naked in the presence of beauty in this gruelling giallo from genre master, and Daddy; Dario Argento!
A young police officer, who sufferers from a rare form of hallucinatory disorder which causes her to blackout when looking at works of art, finds herself in the custody of the sadistic murder shes been sent to apprehend after he uses her affliction to ensnare her. Can Anna summon enough strength and courage to escape his clutches and stop him once and for all?
The Stendhal Syndrome is a hyper-stylised thriller that stands as Argentos cruelest film and is now presented here uncut and uncensored.
A classic and a masterpiece --DVDtimes.co.uk
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Top Customer Reviews
It's not a complete success but it's certainly Argento's most ambitious and psychologically profound film with the best female role in any of his films. Unfortunately, the fact that she's played by Asia Argento, an actress with more ferocity than subtlety doesn't help (it was originally written as a vehicle for Bridget Fonda, with Jennifer Jason Leigh subsequently briefly attached). Nor does the fact that the Stendhal Syndrome itself, a form of emotional overload and physical breakdown in the presence of great works of art somewhat similar to the Jerusalem Syndrome, isn't really explored beyond acting as a trigger for the plot. The exceptionally bad cgi effects when it is don't help either, undercutting a couple of potentially interesting setpieces.Read more ›
The first 20 minutes or so has an extraordinary hallucinatory quality and is quite masterfully directed. Anna Manni (Asia Argento) visits the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, has a powerful reaction - the Stendhal Syndrome - to some of the paintings, faints, injures herself in falling and wakes up with short term memory loss, not knowing who she is. Dazed and confused she staggers outside where a 'helpful stranger' catches up with her, returns her abandoned handbag, puts her in a taxi and dispatches her back to her hotel. Once there, Anna begins to regain her memory while hallucinating under the joint influences of prescribed medication and a painting on her bedroom wall. This is very cleverly done, for the facts recalled - that she is a police officer from Rome hunting a serial rapist/murderer - are simultaneously revealed to Anna and we, the viewer, increasing our sympathy with her. Returning from her dream, Anna is attacked and raped by the man she is hunting, passes out and awakes to find him in the process of killing another victim with Anna's gun.Read more ›
There are a few issues which bother me about this film. The first and most obvious (to fans anyway) is that it does not look like an Argento film. There are none of the awesome camera angles and shots that are the trademark of earlier films such as Suspiria, Tenebrae or Phenomena. A quote on the DVD cover claims that it is “as gory and hard as Tenebrae”. It is nowhere near.
The second problem is the casting of Asia in the main role as Anna, the detective. Apart from the fact that she looks about fourteen years old, she just doesn’t have the charisma to pull it off successfully. She’s a very attractive girl and so watchable in that sense, but she never convinces in her character.
Thirdly, for the most part, the film is just boring. There are long passages where nothing of consequence happens, and you find yourself wishing for the killer to strike again, just to liven things up. Argento films never used to be like this, did they?
It’s not all bad news, though. There is an interesting twist ending (par for the course from this director, though) and as already mentioned, I could look at Asia Argento all day long. Not a bad film on its own terms then, but it struggles to live up to the reputation of its illustrious predecessors.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic, Certainly a movie that keeps you on edge mostly all the way, just like DEEP RED, PHENOMENA, great cold atmospherePublished 7 months ago by .kramsie
Overrated Argento Film,much like most of His work.It's slow,badly acted but with Stylish Direction,which unfortunately does not a Good flim make.Published 11 months ago by Mrs. D. Moncrieff
argento at his best.a interesting story, excellent camera and good actors, especially his daughter asia and german thomas kretschmann, the later dracula.Published 23 months ago by Friedrich Doerr
I liked this release very much, good picture quality and the same for the audio. Good to have the movie in the original Italian audio (with Asia's real voice). Read morePublished on 1 Nov. 2013 by Wifa Van Ingen
Stendhal Syndrome is one of those "love or hate" titles which divides even hardcore Argento fans up to this day. I love it and it still grows on me with every viewing. Read morePublished on 25 Feb. 2013 by M. Link
The Stendahl Syndrome is not one of Argento's great films (Suspiria, Inferno & Deep Red) but it's still a cut above his later slasher films, so to speak. Read morePublished on 21 April 2012 by Film Zombie
Firstly, I saw this on The Horror Channel and it was dubbed into 'American', which spoiled the authenticity of it all and cheapened it. Read morePublished on 18 April 2012 by Tim Kidner