The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)


The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

Written and directed by Dario Argento
(number 280)

Content warning for watching the movie: discussed violence to cats at a late point in the movie, plus seeing cats in cages 😦

Cool premise for a horror movie – after witnessing an attempted murder during a spate of serial killings, a writer is then stalked by the killer. I’m glad this isn’t as intense all round as Suspirira, it actually reminded me a lot more of an American horror movie from the 70s, which is a lot easier to watch.

Having said that, I don’t super love the movie about the killer who only targets thin, young, pretty women and we get to see the murders take place. One of them in a bedroom, with the woman’s nightclothes being tenderly removed at the tip of a knife. It’s gross – I don’t want serial killers sexualised like this.

The soundtrack is still awesome, very atmospheric and strange. I suspect Sofia Coppola takes inspiration from Argento when she thinks of soundscapes. I also like the attention given to art all through the film, the significance of it at various times and the impact that art has on the storyline. It’s interesting stuff.

I like that the inspector ensures that Ursula is put with the transvestites and not the perverts. I’m sure it’s just a joke, but I’m pleased that’s addressed.

Does it make me love the people? Yeah, I really like Sam. I mean, I’m always on side with a writer, but also he’s an interesting character – he knows that his continuing to pursue the truth is putting him and then his girlfriend in danger but he really wants to know the truth. It’s relatable. Then Julia is cool too, despite her looking almost identical to the first victim and confusing me for five minutes, as a character she’s interesting because she’s smart, she puts clues together, she supports Sam and she’s generally unafraid of what it all means.

Bechdel test: There are lots of women, but they generally appear only talking to men. I guess, given it’s a movie about men killing women from 1970 it wasn’t likely to pass.

Best line:

Inspector Morosini: Bring in the perverts!

Sam: When will I hear from you?
Faiena: never!… well, maybe tomorrow morning.

State of Mind: It’s a good, entertaining movie and interesting. If you can get passed the repeated killings of pretty girls it’s enjoyable. So yeah, enjoyable but I don’t know about watching it again. Just so grateful it wasn’t Suspiria again. The mystery was pretty good and although maybe a little predictable, it has some good twists in it.

Watched movie count

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