The Total Film icon interview has seen some cult heroes interviewed but few match the legendary status of Dario Argento so it was with great excitement I sat to watch what he had to say on Day 2 of FrightFest the 13th.
After being treated to a sensational sizzle reel which included trailers clips and even adverts for Argento’s soundtracks and one hilarious one he made for sugar the man himself took the stage to riotous applause.
Opening at the end Argento spoke, in his very good broken English, about his latest film Dracula 3D which FrightFest had hoped to screen this year but was not completed.
Inspired by an old school 3D festival where he had seen Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder in all its red and green glory he fancied trying it for himself taking on Stokers story using the very latest technology.
Although staying faithful in part to the original book he was interested in the many transformations of the vampire so expect to see all sorts of special effects when the film does comes out sometime soon.
Staring his daughter Asia as Lucy and the amazing Rutger Hauer as Abraham Van Helsing he told a crazy story about how after a day missing from set Argento had called the police to look for Hauer who they found in a bush with a Russian girl. It seems Hauer is as crazy in real life as he is on screen.
Taking things further back he spoke with love about Suspiria the film that firmly put his name on the map after his giallo genre pictures. When the upcoming Hollywood remake was mentioned he revealed he had no involvement at all something he seemed happy about saying modestly how he thought the original was pretty good and lets see if they can make something better much to the approval of the crowd.
Hollywood was all about money and their lack of original ideas and obsession with remakes was something he obviously found frustrating and alien.
Interestingly it was this unoriginality that he spoke of again when talking about the other Italian horrors during the golden age of the 70s none of which he was a fan off as he believed them all to have copied from him much too much rather than seeking their own originality.
He revealed that he had been inspired himself by old Hollywood and Hitchcock rather then other Italian directors although he said his work with Sergio Leone had a great impact as Leone taught him that the camera was all important in cinema rather than the actors or the script and his was something he deeply connected with and something obvious to all who watch his wonderfully visual movies.
He went on to discuss his latest project as Italian TV had asked him to pick his Top 100 horror movies all of which they will be screening with an Argento introduction.
A loverer of horror he had found it hard to choose especially with some limitations such as only being allowed 2 silent movies. When asked what, if any films he had picked from the last century he mentioned Spanish and French cinema as his favourite for new horror along with the Far East such as South Korea and Japan where he thought a lot of great supernatural movies whew emerging.
Laughing when he was asked how many of his own movies he put on his list he said he had chosen 6 – Susperia, Opera, Tenebrea, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Deep Red and Phenomena.
Questions then came from the crowd where it was clear to see there where a good deal of Argento obsessive’s including one French woman who asked so many questions she nearly took up everyone else’s time in one go.
Argento happily spoke about the possibility of doing another giallo, his use of music, his love of Greece and the sadness he had for their current situation and the influence of art on his films.
Most interestingly he discussed the dream like quality of his films going into how he loved dreams and nightmares finding a great deal of inspiration for his work in them as he always had throughout his career, something he suggested perhaps a psychoanalyst should look into
Ending all too soon it was obvious the living horror legend had more to say but sadly there just wasn’t time. An amazing man with a brilliant body of work Argento was a wonderful addition to the already great line up of this years FrightFest and after hearing all he had up say I for one cant wait to see Dracula 3D.