Cannibals and other impossible bodies: 'Il profumo della signora in nero' and the giallo film

Author(s)

Heller-Nicholas, Alexandra

Available versions

Abstract

For cult film audiences and academics alike, the Italian giallo film is considered predominantly an auteurist domain, where films by the subgenre's big names - Mario and Lamberto Bava, Lucio Fulci, Aldo Lado, Sergio Martino, Umberto Lenzi, Luciano Ercoli, and of course Dario Argento - have generally garnered the most attention. Translating literally to 'yellow,' the word giallo refers to the yellow covers of the pulp crime novels released by publisher Mondadori during the 1920s, locating the origins of the giallo in the work of authors such as Edgar Wallace. As one of the first giallo films, Mario Bava's The Girl Who Knew Too Much (La ragazza che sapev troppo, 1962) contains many of the giallo film's signature elements: sex, crime, and most famously a psychotic killer in black leather gloves. But as Mikel J. Koven notes in his book La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film (2006), these generic traits are far from uniform, and a privileging of the most well-known giallo auteurs risks missing the subgenre's thematic foundations.

Publication year

2012

Publication type

Journal article

Source

Scope, no. 22 (Feb 2012)

ISSN

1465-9166

Publisher

University of Nottingham

Copyright

Copyright © 2012 Scope: An Online Journal of Film and Television Studies. Authors may use the article elsewhere after publication without prior permission from Scope, provided that acknowledgement is given to the Journal as the original source of publication, and that it is notified so that our records show that its use is properly authorized. The published version is reproduced in accordance with this policy.

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