We're about half way through the Underrated Series and have finally reached one of the big genres. I'm expecting lots…
The Stendhal Syndrome
A young policewoman slowly goes insane while tracking down an elusive serial rapist/killer through Italy when she herself becomes a victim of the brutal man's obsession.
I actually kind of love The Stendhal Syndrome. As the first film made in Italy to feature CGI effects you can bet they are not very well done, and the copy I watched made it look like it was shot on video, a notion I haven't been able to confirm through casual research. But for me that just adds to its charm, kind of like the DIY look of Francis Ford Coppola's most recent Twixt, a film that I loved through and through for the way it represents a singular, uncompromised artistic vision. In the very psychological Stendhal Syndrome, Argento delves into the mind of Detective Anna Manni (played by his daughter Asia), a victim of a brutal rape whose…
Gone is the surreal use of color, the leather-glove-clad psychopaths, the exhilarating soundscapes of Claudio Simonetti, and the bordering-on-fetishistic attention to detail. In their place, simpler pleasures have been provided. A stripped down visual style, more of a focus on psychological horrors, and reuniting with artistic collaborators of yesteryear seem to be just a few of the defining qualities of Dario Argento's later career; and if this is indeed true, then The Stendhal Syndrome is the culmination of it. Instead of more distinctive villains, we get everyday killers; and instead of Goblin, we get Ennio Morricone (though I'm sure no one is complaining about that one).
It's probably just a bit too easy to dismiss the film on first sight,…
I find The Stendhal Syndrome to be incredibly underrated among Dario Argento's films. It doesn't get talked about a lot, and I have no idea why. I think it's extraordinary. Asia Argento delivers a phenomenal performance as the detective who is stalked by a vicious serial killer and who suffers from the title ailment – that is, she becomes so overwhelmed by great works of art that she passes out and temporarily loses her memory. Though it amounts to little more than a subplot, it's still fascinating, and both Argentos masterfully convey this in the opening sequence. The film does tend to run a little long, but it's never boring, and I would certainly rank The Stendhal Syndrome among my…
Much better than I remembered. I just love Argentos silly plot points like the rare psychiatric disorder of art making Asia lose her mind. In many ways Stendhal is like the classic gialli - clearly inspired by Hitchcock. But on the other hand the rapist/murder reveals himself right away and the story akes some unusual and dark turns.
Simple but amazing Morricone score reminiscent of Bernard Hermanns mystery music.
Some call it Argentos last good film - I like Sleeples equally and my sheer naivity says he will return to form.
Apparantly the first italian film to include SGI some of it work, some of it is downright embarassing.
This is probably the closest that Dario Argento ever came to making a restrained drama, with the emphasis not so much on stylish murder scenes but on psychological trauma. But Argento's visual style is fully present here - he's the type of guy who will slowly twirl a camera on its axis during a mundane phone conversation just to keep things interesting, or cut to an esophagus POV shot that would probably make Vince Gilligan jealous if it wasn't such shitty CGI. As you can probably imagine, though, character study is not Argento's strong suit, and he's reverted almost entirely to his old tricks by the end (does anyone do exposition-via-rushed-whispering as well as Argento does?). An interesting experiment, but not as satisfying as his best movies.
I've said it for years: Some people just appreciate art on a deeper level than others.
After having such a great time with "Opera" I decided to keep going with the last couple Argento movies I have yet to see. "The Stendhal Syndrome" is generally overlooked when it comes to discussion of the director, and its a shame because it's a unique and often mesmerizing film that showed that Argento's vision was still strong at this point of his career.
This is a visually striking movie, that instead of rehashing the style of his previous work, goes in new strange directions. Aiding in this is cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno who had a truly remarkable resume at this point from working with Italian art house legends like Fellini and Visconti, to American masters like Altman and Fosse. This…
The Stendhal Syndrome sags compared to Argento's earlier work. He still knows how to point a camera, and how to edit a film, but a lot of the spark I find in his witchcraft films and his earlier slashers are not here. It's more like Phenomena, but not quite as admirably batshit.
It just sort of lays there, with predictable twists and uninspired kills.
It's not outright terrible, but it'd be the last Argento movie I'd suggest out of the 10 or so I've seen.
It’s important to focus on the art direction in Dario Argento’s films because, not only are they usually beautiful or even ugly (sometimes both) to glue your eyes on, but, pieces of his thematic intent lurk within the way places appear. Argento is one of the great maestros of visual design, and the choice of paintings (both fictional and authentic) throughout "The Stendhal Syndrome" add extra meaning to the otherwise generic Hitchcockian mystery that exists on the surface. Art is scrutinized while Italy is dementedly castrated - paving way for Argento’s initial feelings to bleed through - showing the slowly approaching insanity of his character during these scenarios. Oh, and those psychology books..
An extra half a star for comedy value!
The Stendhal Syndrome is often noted as the film where Dario Argento's films have taken a critical decline - and it's rather easy to see why. Argento's Suspiria happens to be one of my favourite films but it seems from something like this we don't have the same genius who spills blood as freely as he did in his early masterpieces, but instead we have someone else who is just limited to the lowest, which is extremely disappointing.
I'll give credit to the visual style that Argento created for The Stendhal Syndrome, but that should not be a surprise coming from a filmmaker like Argento. Argento's films always have something to praise with the visual…
I was very interested in this syndrome, and the movie visualises it perfectly. The CGI isn't all that convincing, but it was one of the first Italian films that used it. The first scene in the museum is classic. The scene in the hotel room as well. After that it gets a bit boring although Asia Argento does a good job. A mediocre thriller that's entertaining, but not that exciting.
The line between good and bad Argento is usually pretty clear but I feel this lies somewhere in the middle. It has some trippy moments early on and some good scenes but it also raises a few eyebrows in parts. Dario casts his daughter as a cop on the case of a serial killer who is then raped and traumatized by that killer. At least it's nice to see them spending some father/ daughter time together. I can't help but feel so much of this was lost in the dub that you have no alternative but to watch with many of the dvd releases of Italian horror films. You don't usually mind cause it adds to the fun cult value of the films with many of the trashy gaillo movies but this film was trying to show the lasting traumatic effects of rape through Asia's performance, probably not the best thing to dub over.
great film. not watched or discussed enough
Perhaps not his strongest film, but still the capabilities and ambition are there. One of his more straight forward plots too, more in the thriller/horror zone. Ennio Morricone even does the soundtrack and Dario's daughter Asia stars. The film may not have as many horror traits as most of Dario's best output, but it's still excessively violent and bloody, many nasty rape scenes are included. Interesting stuff, but not for Argento beginners.
The Stendhal Syndrome starts out with enough there to keep the viewer interested but gradually looses steam midway through. Check that, it immediately looses steam. It would be a compliment to suggest that it does so in any other fashion.
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