Do You Like Hitchcock?

Do You Like Hitchcock?

"You know she can report it to the police. It's called 'stalking.' I read an article."

When Giulio (Elio Germano) isn't writing his thesis on German expressionist films, he's studying his sexy neighbor Sasha (Elisabetta Rochetti) through her window across the street. One day, he overhears Sasha talking with blonde-haired Federica (Chiara Conti) about Hitchcock at the local video store and shortly after, Sasha's mother is murdered during a break-in. Were the two women inspired by Strangers on a Train to kill for each other? Giulio becomes obsessed with finding the answer, but getting closer to the truth could land him in serious danger!

By the late 1980's Dario Argento had watched slasher movies surpass traditional-style gialli in popularity, and by 2005, those same slasher flicks were eclipsed by the ironic, meta, post-modern style of Wes Craven's Scream series.  Do You Like Hitchcock? (which was made as a TV movie) is clearly Argento's response to the new trend. Whereas Craven's characters were horror fans, ironically aware that they were participating in a slasher movie, Argento looked to the godfather of giallo and made his characters Hitchcock fans who find themselves acting out a suspenseful murder mystery. The obvious references are to Strangers On a Train, Rear Window, and Dial M For Murder, but there are also more subtle nods here to Psycho (an attempted bathroom murder and an embezzling office worker), Vertigo (a dark and light-haired pair of femme fatales), and a climactic ending right out of North By Northwest.

  • Pino Donaggio contributes another dishwater-dull musical score. But at least there's some ambition behind this one, as it tries to mimic Bernard Hermann's strings-only Psycho score in key moments.
  • Argento knows blood and he knows suspense. What he's never been very good at is sex scenes, and Do You Like Hitchcock? provides several clumsy, unresolved examples.
  • This is late-period Argento, so it's not as stylized or visually inventive as, say Deep Red. But now and then - just every now and then - we get a flash of the old Dario. Throughout the movie we see brief moments of steady cam POV shots, macro lens pans, saturated lighting, and certain editing moves that could only have been done by Argento.
  • There's some fantastic acting by Chiara Conti as we silently watch her get harassed by her boss, endure his abuse, and get forced into sleeping with him. She conveys a lot of emotion with barely any dialogue.
  • At the very end of the movie, Giulio spies on a new neighbor. Notice that she's reading a giallo book, ironically titled La Finestra Sulla Notte or The Window in the Night.
  • There's an attempted suicide, which I've listed above under "attempted murders"
What the Hell Am I Watching?

 I simply do not understand the point of the 8-minute prologue where young Giulio watches two women kill a rooster. Unless it establishes a history of Giulio spying on people, which is something that really didn't need to be established.

I have a hard time believing that in 2005 the video store still relies on a DOS-based computer system.

Argento can't help a bit of self-promotion. It's hard to miss the poster for his movie The Card Player (Il Cartaio) in the video shop.

Drinking game! Drink every time you see an architectural sculpture.

Fashion Moment

Mostly unremarkable but youthful street clothes. But this David Lynch fan at the store wears a parody T-shirt that made me smile.

No comments:

Post a Comment