|release date||January 26 1996|
|starring||Asia Argento, Thomas Kretschmann|
|trailer 1||Trailer #1|
The Stendhal Syndrome is an italian arthouse movie by Dario Argento, who normally likes to make Giallo’s, but obvoiusly wanted to innovate himself and his moviemaking and therefore chose an entirely different genre for his film.
Considering this is an arthousemovie, the story is pretty strange and really shows Dario Argento’s interest in the human mind and psychological thrillers, next to that, another thing you normally don’t really see in most arthouse movies is the nihilistic nature of the violence, because the movie is really cold and harsh and kind of reminded me of the 70′s shock films. However, I can’t stress enough that this is an arthousemovie and not really a horror or thriller.
But first of all, a bit of storytelling:
The movie’s main character is the beautiful and young policewoman Anna Manni (played by Dario Argento’s daughter – Asia Argento) who is tracking down a violent serialkiller and rapist (played by Thomas Kretschmann). Her track leads her to the Uffizi museum in Florence.
There however, Anna is struck by the Stendhal Syndrome, which makes her faint, when among certain works of art, like paintings and statues.
Her new handicap makes it very diificult for her to track down the killer, since every work of art could make her faint.
Eventually Anna finds the killer and confronts him, but this is far from the end of Anna’s troubles…
Don’t complain to me that you find the story boring or hard to understand, because I agree. This is one of those movies you have to see to fully understand what it is actually about, but what I just wrote is the main idea behind the film.
But offcourse it takes more than a strange story to make an interesting movie and one of those things is the music.
Well, the movie can’t go wrong on that point, since the music was done by no other than Ennio Morricone, who gives a perfect sound to the artful and cold vision of the world that Dario Argento presents us in this movie.
As you might have guessed, the movie really concentrates on atmosphere or actually on the lack of it. Like I said before the movie is really cold and almost shows the world as an emotionless place, where serialkillers can just rape and shoot their victims like it is nothing and noone really cares about eichother.
But offcourse also quite essential for a good movie are actors and those are also quite good. Especially worth mentioning here is Thomas Kretschmann, who gives Armando (the killer) a face and is just downright heartless and ruthless in his role.
Well, that’s about all I can write about it, because the real enjoyment comes from watching the movie. Whether you like it or hate it, you must admit that a horror director almost never surprised you so much, because it is truly magnificent how Dario Argento takes standard horror ingredients (policewoman, serialkiller, little cat and mousegame) and changes them into an entirely different genre or at least an extremely original and experimental giallo, but keep in mind that expecting a giallo (or even a thriller) with this movie will probably dissapoint you.