Horror Films Master Dario Argento Explored in New Documentary Films _’Panico’_
Italian Director’s Lifetime of Dark, Strange Film-making Celebrated
In the new documentary films _’Panico’_ Guillermo del Toro, Nicolas Winding Refn, and others sing the praises of Italian director Dario Argento, offering a dexterous look back over his career. Despite the flattering comments, Argento’s dark side still shines through.
Asia Argento Recalls Father’s Reaction to Lifetime Achievement Award
A revealing moment comes at the end of the Documentary films when Asia Argento remembers her father’s state of mind when he came home from the David di Donatello awards, Italy’s version of the Oscars, in 2019. Despite never winning a David for any of his strange, unique films, such as _’Profondo Rosso’ (1975)_, _’Suspiria‘ (1977)_, or _’Tenebre’ (1982)_, Argento received a lifetime achievement award that year.
Asia Argento recalls that when they got back from the ceremony, he shrugged and said “sticazzi” – “who cares?”. She explains that he only really cares about the work itself, not the acclaim it might or might not generate.
Documentary Films Offers In-Depth Look at Dario Argento’s Career
The Documentary films feels like one long lifetime achievement homage, packed with superlatives and fond anecdotes about Argento’s high spirits on set and his intense focus on details. Director Simone Scafidi allows Argento’s dark side to show through all the hype about his genius.
Made very much with the auteur’s cooperation, the Documentary films does a very competent job of montaging Argento’s career together in a comprehensible form. Both hits and duds are spliced and diced together neatly, while various collaborators from both sides of the camera think back on the old days.
Fellow Auteurs Offer Praise for Dario Argento
Rounding out the chorus of approval, fellow auteurs Nicolas Winding Refn, Guillermo del Toro, and Gaspar Noé pop up to hymn their own fanboyish but insightful praise. Del Toro’s brilliant comparison between horror Films-making and hostage negotiation, and Winding Refn on Argento’s talent for making a nearly abstract kind of art are particularly noteworthy.
Documentary Films Available on Shudder
Dario Argento Panico is available from 2 February on Shudder.