Gabriele Lavia

Gabriele Lavia

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Remember Me, My Love Review


Good
Italian Beauty? Even more so than in his previous film, The Last Kiss, Gabriele Muccino's story of despair and decay in an outwardly normal Roman household apes domestic forebears like American Beauty almost too closely. Still, to claim suburban ennui as a distinctly American experience would be hubris at its worst, so let's give Muccino his stab at the genre.

In this outing, all four family members are dropped right in the middle of their respective crises: Dad (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) is rekindling an affair with an old girlfriend (played by Monica Bellucci, who could possibly blame him?), while Mom (Laura Morante) is tentatively dipping a toe into the world of acting. Sis Valentina (Nicoletta Romanoff) is the proto-teen who hates everything and dresses like a whore -- and she's trying to become a dancer on TV... and what good could come of that? Then there's brooding Paolo (Silvio Muccino, Gabriele's kid brother and a regular in his films), who can't score with the girls and seems on the verge of suicide from frame one.

Continue reading: Remember Me, My Love Review

Deep Red Review


Good
Dario Argento pops out one of his more accessible yet still obtuse thrillers with Deep Red, in which a psychic is murdered (she shoulda seen it coming!) and the ensuing investigation ends up with body after body piling up. The inimitable David Hemmings steals much of the show, but it's Argento's trademark candy-red blood, appearing here in copious volumes, which really turns the stomach.

Continue reading: Deep Red Review

Sleepless Review


Good
You've got to hand it to Dario Argento -- he might be a king of schlock, but he sure is inventive about it.

With Sleepless (a direct-to-video feature), Argento somehow convinced Max von Sydow to appear in this story about a decades-old killer who appears to have come back from the dead. Or is it a copycat killer? Von Sydow plays an old Italian(!) police detective who solved a 1983 serial killing spree in Turin. Long since retired, he is called upon once again when the same M.O. turns up in a rash of murders in the present. Argento spikes this derivative plot idea with some curious (to say the least) plot details. The original killer was a dwarf -- and the police round up the entire Turin dwarf population in the present-day investigation. And some of the murders are nothing short of bizarre -- most notably when one poor girl gets repeatedly impaled through the face with a clarinet, shown in graphic detail. Argento's usual touches -- plenty of gore in extreme close-up -- are readily found.

Continue reading: Sleepless Review

Gabriele Lavia

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