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Author Topic: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)  (Read 26502 times)

Paul

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I'm a huge fan of this flick and consider it to be one of Argento's best. I decided to check out the Blue Underground disc's commentary track last night - probably got about a third in before surrenderring to tiredness but I will say that the Alan Jones and Kim Newman track is infectious and highly informative. It's a shame tat Lustig didn't ge the pair back in the booth to record commentaries for his recent Argento re-issues.
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Vaughan

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Re: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)
« Reply #1 on: 06 Jul 2007 - 17:01 »

I have the BU disc.  And while it's a nice upgrade on the old VCI title, I thought the A/V left a little to be desired to be perfectly honest.

Still, as to the film, it's clearly superb.  The soundtrack is a highlight.  I could watch this film every day.
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Jonny

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Re: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)
« Reply #2 on: 06 Jul 2007 - 17:20 »

I've mentioned this before but my only experience of seeing this film is via the old Vampix VHS about 16 years ago and while I enjoyed it back then I'm thinking I seriously need to buy the latest DVD and re-appraise the film.
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Paul

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Re: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)
« Reply #3 on: 06 Jul 2007 - 22:21 »

It's most definitely well shot and certainly one of the best examples of a giallo flick - it simply exudes class.
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broonage

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Re: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)
« Reply #4 on: 16 Aug 2007 - 08:21 »

Sat down and watched this yesterday afternoon (day off  ;D).

A wonderful film, the score, the sound effects, the camera work, thriving colours. Everything is great, a real change from Argento's 80s/90s work.
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WilsonBros

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Re: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)
« Reply #5 on: 16 Aug 2007 - 11:25 »

In the late 90's, Nick & I got hold of the address of Eva Renzi's agent.

We sent of a letter and a couple of international reply coupons and didn't hear anything for a good number of months - then one morning, a package from Germany arrived and it contained two signed pics and one the back of one of them, Ms Renzi had written "that Argento film was my career killer!"  - oh well...

Despite whatever the late Ms Renzi might have thought of Bird With The Crystal Plumage, it's still a great movie that has an atmosphere unique among Argento's movies.

Kev W
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pogotheklown

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Re: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)
« Reply #6 on: 20 Aug 2007 - 17:15 »

It's most definitely well shot and certainly one of the best examples of a giallo flick - it simply exudes class.

I certainly agree with you there sir.  One of my favorite giallo movie.  Argento did a fine job on this one (and I'm not really a big Argento fan...).  Pretty much enjoy everything about this film and have a hard time finding any faults...
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Paul

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Re: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)
« Reply #7 on: 20 Aug 2007 - 21:24 »

It's most definitely well shot and certainly one of the best examples of a giallo flick - it simply exudes class.

I certainly agree with you there sir.  One of my favorite giallo movie.  Argento did a fine job on this one (and I'm not really a big Argento fan...).  Pretty much enjoy everything about this film and have a hard time finding any faults...

Thank you and welcome to the forums, Pogo!
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vigilanteforce

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Re: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)
« Reply #8 on: 02 Jan 2008 - 01:36 »

Watched this masterpiece again earlier tonight via the great Medusa disc (although I also have the BU special edition). I always get in my giallo mood in the xmas time, don't know why. Needless to say this film is brilliant and one of Argenro's finest. Not much in there for the gorehounds but it is so well-made that it never gets boring. Killer music score- happy to own it on CD.
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Peter

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Re: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)
« Reply #9 on: 02 Jan 2008 - 05:33 »

Funnily enough, I also watched this last night (although I watched the BU disc) and I agree with you. It's one the gialli that I've seen the most times, yet I never seem to tire of it. Fantastic film and one of Argento's best. 

Johan Melle

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Re: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)
« Reply #10 on: 02 Jan 2008 - 10:43 »

OK, I know I'm in the minority here but I just can't help but feel that this is the decidedly weakest of Argento's early films. Sure enough, there's lots to admire. Morricone's score and Storaro's camerawork is top-notch and the film has a very solid story and a great central puzzle. I'm also impressed by the cast, including the great Mario Adorf and Enrico Maria Salerno, who is more likeable and smart than most cops we see in gialli. There's also a bit of humor that actually works.

Still, I can't help but feel Argento's inexperience here - he would improve on a lot of the themes seen her in his next couple of films. Here, he doesn't quite have the necessary experience or timing to successfully execute all of his suspense scenes. Most of the victims are unimportant characters who are introduced and killed right afterwards, which means there is little emotional impact since we never establish a relationship with these characters. The one scene that really should make an emotional impact is the one where the killer attacks Suzy Kendall, whose character we do sympathize with. But unfortunately, this scene falls flatter than a pancake and isn't able to deliver any thrills whatsoever. I thought it was amazing to see Argento handle a suspense sequence with such uncertainty! He also doesn't quite know how to direct his actors - as evidenced by Suzy Kendall's unconvincing hysterical acting in this scene. Kendall is a good actress but doesn't express her fear in a very satisfying manner here. It seems as if neither she or Argento had any clue how to do this scene.

So for me, Argento was just cutting his teeth on this one. He would improve vastly as a director with his next to films, which have much more emotional impact as well as leading characters that we actually care about (the relationship between Karl Malden and his niece in CAT is much warmer and convincing than any of what we see in BIRD). That's not to say that BIRD is a poor film but for me the only really GREAT thing it has going for it is the central plot element of what the protagonist saw (or rather thought he saw), which really re-defined the whole giallo genre at the time. The rest of the film, however, is pretty routine, and this is one Argento film I rarely feel any urge to revisit.

MarcMorris

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Re: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)
« Reply #11 on: 02 Jan 2008 - 10:51 »

Quote
Still, I can't help but feel Argento's inexperience here

Ha - so in that case his more recent films should be better as he's now a way more experienced director.  ;D
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Johan Melle

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Re: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)
« Reply #12 on: 02 Jan 2008 - 14:23 »

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Still, I can't help but feel Argento's inexperience here

Ha - so in that case his more recent films should be better as he's now a way more experienced director.  ;D

Haha! That's not what I was trying to say. What I meant was that IMO Dario's lack of experience when he made this film prevents him from delivering the same kind of gripping suspense and tension that he was later able to create in some of his best films. None of the suspense scenes in BIRD make nowhere near the same kind of impact on me as some of his later accomplishments such as Sara trying to reach the small window in SUSPIRIA or Rose descending down into the underwater chamber in INFERNO etc.

While his recent films don't compare favorably to his best films (which are IMO the ones he made while he was together with Daria Nicolodi), I still find that they are a lot better than many give them credit for.

zykl0nb

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Re: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)
« Reply #13 on: 06 Jan 2008 - 00:28 »

When I first watched this years ago on the VCI disc when I first got into Argento, I was underwhelmed by it.  Re-appraising it via the BU disc, I have discovered it to be a masterpiece.
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Johan Melle

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Re: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento, 1969)
« Reply #14 on: 06 Jan 2008 - 00:32 »

When I first watched this years ago on the VCI disc when I first got into Argento, I was underwhelmed by it.  Re-appraising it via the BU disc, I have discovered it to be a masterpiece.

Really? The BU disc made that much of a difference? It's very interesting you should say that because I've only seen it via the VCI release...
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