When Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante) arrived in Rome he was not sure where life would take him. He became a waiter, rented a flat and made a few friends. When he witnesses an attack on a woman who is trapped in an art gallery. He is unable to help, due to a massive glass wall. All he can do is just watch on as it happens. This makes him deeply aware of the event and its deep rooted problem. Obsessed by it, he keeps reflecting back until something begins to surface….
Dario Argento made a deep mark on the Italian Giallo and in truth cinema with his film Deep Red. However for me, he comes to the fore when he made The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. It has the key characteristics, murder set pieces, thin plot lines, submerged sexuality and psychosis. This is then layered with wonderful visual images and a score to dream of.
Take for example the wonderful opening set piece. This glorious view of the trapped man watching the attempted murder. It is stylish. Beautiful even. It is also developing the idea of the viewer and the trapped man. The viewer watches the events without the ability to change anything but still culpable for what they are viewing and how they are consuming it. Magical and multi dimensional.
So to the Blu ray. The 4k transfer for me, looks delightful. Take on the previous DVD release and you can see how the lovely light level and colour tones have been made powerful, not blah. The audio commentary by Howarth is excellent. Absolutely excellent. He gives the film a powerful gauge and balance. The visual essay is great but Kat Ellinger deserves praise. What a grand piece.
LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
- Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the camera negative in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
- Original mono Italian and English soundtracks (lossless on the Blu-ray Disc)
- English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
- New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films
- The Power of Perception, a new visual essay on the cinema of Dario Argento by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, author of Devil s Advocates: Suspiria and Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study
- New analysis of the film by critic Kat Ellinger
- New interview with writer/director Dario Argento
- New interview with actor Gildo Di Marco (Garullo the pimp)
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Candice Tripp
- Double-sided fold-out poster
- 6 Lobby Card reproductions
- Limited edition 60-page booklet illustrated by Matthew Griffin, featuring an appreciation of the film by Michael Mackenzie, and new writing by Howard Hughes and Jack Seabrook