Mario Bava, Giuseppe Barilla, Marcello Fondato
Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner, Ariana Gorini, Dante DiPaolo
Alfredo Mirabile, Massimo Patrizi
An up-and-coming model for a high fashion agency, Isabella is brutally murdered by a mysterious masked assassin. Detective Sylvester uses clues taken from the woman's diary to advance his investigation. Incriminating secrets are soon revealed and the agency is quickly plagued by accusations of corruption, abortions, blackmail and drug use. While Sylvester is busy trying to solve the mystery, the killer steps up his ingenuity and commits his next murders with greater complexity. The bodies pile up as the case drags on, every employee being at once a potential suspect and the next possible victim.
If you were impressed by last year's restoration of SUSPIRIA, you won't want to miss this screening of Mario Bava's BLOOD AND BLACK LACE in all its restored glory. The true godfather of giallo films, whose influence helped shape the work of various directors ranging from Dario Argento to the duo of Cattet and Forzani (AMER, THE STRANGE COLOR OF YOUR BODY'S TEARS), Bava deserves the same admiration as this year's guest of honour, Joe Dante, who just so happens to own a film print of this classic in his private collection. Furthermore, it's with BLOOD AND BLACK LACE that giallo conventions were cemented, and with which Bava consolidated the genre's rules. It has everything: gloved hands committing homicides treated in a whodunit fashion, as well as the use of deep contrasts and saturated colours that Argento would appropriate several years later. With this film, Bava delivers pure cinema, exploiting the full potential of the cinematic language and giving our senses a constant source of stimulation. Be ready for a powerful exercise in style displaying Bava's formal mastery. Fear has never looked so colourful. - Translation: Guillaume Desbiens
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