Giallo: Killing It With Style... Again
Cinema Junkie / January 9, 2020
Imagine a body as your canvas, a knife as your paintbrush, and blood as your medium. That in a nutshell is the Italian giallo film.
Cinema Junkie is on holiday break so I am serving up a tasty archive from 2017 when I looked to Italian giallo cinema. I’ll be back with a new episode in two weeks where I give out the Cinema Junkie Awards. But since I am co-hosting a film series in San Diego at Digital Gym Cinema focusing on Italian Genre Cinema, I decided to replay this podcast to whet your appetite for our latest Film Geeks SD program. If you don’t know what giallo is I have a pair of guests to enlighten you and if you already know the pleasures of this over-the-top Italian genre then you can delight in insights from Troy Howarth, author of the giallo study "So Deadly So Perverse;" and Rachael Nisbet, who runs a film blog dedicated to giallo and Italian genre cinema.
The word “giallo” translates literally as “yellow” but it became synonymous with a particular style of literary thriller that got its name from the cheap yellow covers of the novels published in Italy in the ’50s and ’60s. The films that drew on these literary roots embellished the lurid tales with an audacious visual style and pulsating soundtrack that consumed you like a fever dream. Although murder is often at the center of these films don't waste your time trying to figure out whodunit because plot feels like an afterthought in these films that are drip with intoxicating style. The style IS the content so you can resist it or you can simply succumb to this assault on your senses and enjoy the perverse pleasures of Italian giallo cinema.
Satisfy your celluloid addiction with the Cinema Junkie podcast, where you can mainline film 24/7. This film and entertainment series is run by KPBS Film Critic Beth Accomando. So if you need a film fix, want to hear what filmmakers have to say about their work, or just want to know what's worth seeing this weekend, then you've come to the right place