Back to watching the 1970's Italian Giallo-type movies. It's been days since I've gotten the renewed interest, after a few weeks' Jess Franco mini-fest. Oh, the sounds and pictures in my head!
Listening to talk radio recently, I heard someone make an analogy to watching an action movie. It's what you get out of it that matters. Watching an action movie, you may be totally engrossed, on the edge of your seat with eyes glued to the screen, watching gunfights, car chases, explosions, etc., whatever it may be; and this is plenty. You enjoy it, then it's over. The next day, you may not even remember the plot. You may remember a lot about it, and you may have fond memories and remember that you enjoyed yourself, but why was all of that happening again? The plot was a vehicle to show you what the movie had to show you. What you get out of it is what matters.
Well, it's much the same to me with Gialli. You may find them classified as mysteries, and that's pretty much the vehicle to show what the movie has to show. I'm generally not big on mysteries:
I'll watch and pay attention, hanging on details trying to figure out some puzzle. Whether I figure it out before all is revealed or not matters little, because I generally expect to be shown the solution at the end. And after that, who cares? Mystery solved, and I guess it's time to move on to the next one? What of repeat viewings? I know the answer already. To a certain extent, isn't it spoiled? There has to be much more available to me in order to really enjoy myself. In fact, watching a more general mystery, I just kind of watch the picture and listen to the sound, as there's not much reason to follow it very closely. The solution will be revealed, and unless there's something that's of particular interest, it kind of feels that I'm wasting my time.
With a good Giallo, it's going to be pretty to watch. Great audio and visuals. Beautiful women, high fashion and art, fascinating sets, wonderful music and really stylized cinematography and camerawork. There'll be nudity, sex, and murders carried out in interesting and stunning ways. All of this is blended in orchestra with a mystery plot that's often more alluring in its details than intriguing as a whole in summary. Sometimes, the solution to the mystery is so anti-climactic that it's just a sign to tell you the movie has wound down and it's time to go to bed. But you'll go to bed with such sights and sounds fresh in your mind that they creep into your dreams and make that interesting as well. That's a good movie. And the next day, I may not even remember the plot very well, but no matter. It's what I got out of it that counts.
Typed while listening to Ennio Morricone - Crime And Dissonance