Monday, March 19, 2012

Argento: Il Cinema Nel Sangue at MAD

The Museum of Art and Design announces the three month long celebration of Italy's best known cinema dynasty, the Argentos. Argento: Il Cinema Nel Sangue (Cinema in the Blood) chronicles three generations of Argentos (Salvatore, Claudio, Dario and Asia) in their artistic endeavor in film. Presenting 16 films in total, including Dario Argento's Animal Trilogy and Three Mothers Trilogy, and selections from Asia Argento's diverse filmography (including her directorial effort, Scarlet Diva), most of them in rare 35mm prints, Il Cinema Nel Sangue is an opportunity not to be missed by Argento fans!

The series kicks off with Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die/Se tutte le donne del mondo on March 23rd and continues until May 25th.

Program Description

The Museum of Arts and Design is proud to present "Argento: il cinema nel sangue" (Argento: Cinema in the Blood) a three-month retrospective celebrating the first family of Italian cinematic ingenuity.

Rejecting the corporate studio system, the Argentos have for over three generations taken a distinctly Italian approach to filmmaking by relying on family to collaborate on cinematic productions as producers, screenwriters, actors, and directors. The Argento film dynasty began in the 1960s with film producer/executive Salvatore Argento, but became a legend with his two sons, Dario, who started as a screenwriter, and Claudio, who first worked as a producer with his father. With Claudio and his father's support, Dario moved into film direction, distinguishing himself in a series of Giallo thrillers through his sophisticated visual approach and technical prowess. (Giallo is a genre of Italian crime/horror fiction, which takes its names from the yellow--giallo is Italian for "yellow"--covers of the paperbacks.) The resulting films have continued to influence filmmakers, artists, and other cultural producers throughout the globe.

In 1975, Dario cast the actress Daria Nicolodi in Deep Red, and for the next ten years the duo became partners both privately as well as professionally . The Agrento legacy has continued on with their daughter, Asia. Who, after staring in her father's films emerged onto the international cinema landscape as an actress, staring in films by directors Sophia Coppola, Olivier Assayas, Catherine Breillat, Abel Ferrara, and Gus Van Sant, before helming her own works as director.

Spanning from March until May 2012, "Argento: il cinema nel sangue" showcases the rich visual tableaus, inventive cinematic techniques, and combined talent of the family Argento.

Special Trilogy Screenings:

April 11th, 13th, and 14th, 2012

Beginning his career as columnist for Paese Sera in Rome, Dario Argento transitioned into the film industry as screenwriter on a number of Westerns, including Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in the West," which he co-wrote with Bernardo Bertolucci. However, it was when he teamed with the producing partnership of his brother and father that Dario discovered international acclaim and box office success in the Giallo cinema. Dario pushed Giallo to new heights with his first three films, known as the Animal Trilogy. His polished yet brazen style made the name Argento known across the globe.

screenings include:

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, L'uccello dale piume di cristallo
Wednesday April 11th, 2012 7PM

The Cat o' Nine Tails, Il gatto a nove code
Friday April 13th, 2012 7PM

Four Flies on Gray Velvet, Quattro mosche di velluto grigio
Saturday April 14th, 2012 3 PM

April 19th, 20th, and 21st, 2012

Visually striking and atmospherically uncanny, the Three Mothers trilogy cemented Dario Argento's reputation as a maestro of the horror genre. Inspired by a 19th-century essay by Thomas De Quincey, the Three Mothers trilogy centers on the exploits of three witch sisters: Mater Suspiriorum (The Mother of Sighs), Mater Tenebrarum (Mother of Darkness), and Mater Lachrymarum (Mother of Tears), who can manipulate events on a global scale.

In the 11th century, the Three Mothers forced the Italian architect E. Varelli to design and construct three exquisite, stately buildings from which the could each rule the world. Centering on the architecture of these homes as a source for evil, the films "Suspiria," "Inferno" and "Mother of Tears" feature stunning visually rich sets filled with lush and colorful lighting. Teaming with the progressive rock band Goblin, Argento took innovative approaches to production design and musical arrangement that broke new ground in the visual and audio representation of the supernatural on the silver screen.

screenings include:

Thursday April 19, 2012 7PM

Friday April 20, 2012 7PM

Mother of Tears, La terza madre
Saturday April 21st, 2012 3PM

Argento: il cinema nel sangue is organized by Jake Yuzna, Manager of Public Programs
For more information and tickets, please visit

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