What’s a supermovie, you ask? It’s a film that will never be made, but the idea of it makes you smile, however elusive a possibility. Imagine it: your favorite director, actor(s), genre, composer and cinematographer fused together in a single project. The best thing about fantasies is that time has no sway, so supermovies can benefit from the talents of the long-dead as well as the living.
It took me a few days of wishful juggling before I could decide between three contenders: (1) Polanski doing a proper, suitably moody adaptation of The Return of the Native with a cast of British unknowns; (2) Herzog helming an adaptation of the cinematically neglected Oroonoko, with Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in the title role (ten years younger, at least); but ultimately I’m going to go with an irresistible third, because (3) is a film that surely might be made at some point, rendering my fantasy more palpable: a Tarantino tribute to the Italian giallo in its 1970s heyday form. Story itself is inconsequential. Tarantino can pick one from a vintage yellow-wrapped novel or draw up his own — story, in giallo flicks, registers lower on the scale after production design, cinematography and soundtrack (just be sure to fill it with blind alleys and sharp curves).
Fortunately for my supermovie fantasy, some of my contributors are still thriving — I suspect that if Tarantino were to dial Claudio Simonetti in Italy (he of the erstwhile Goblin, which scored Argento’s Deep Red, Suspiria and Tenebre), Simonetti would jump on the next flight to L.A. blinking tears of elated disbelief from his eyes. I can hear Tarantino instructing him to whip up a score more reminiscent of his 70s sound than anything he concocted post-1983 — in fact, my supermovie’s exigencies insist on it (if Simonetti can no longer deliver that particular aural quality, Morricone can step in and provide something along the lines of his Who Saw Her Die? score). Tarantino’s call to Simonetti would be followed by an excited-as-a-little-girl text message to cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, that magic lenser who made geometric eye-candy out of The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, The Conformist and The Fifth Cord. This fanboy masterpiece would have to be populated by a still-fresh Frank Nero and Edwige Fenech, and of course no less than Klaus Kinski would be resurrected to play the killer (or at least the main red-herring). It’ll be style over substance, I know, but o! what style! I’ll want to wallpaper my home with the final results. — Ranylt Richildis
(Originally published as part of Pajiba’s Guide to What’s Good for You series, on September 5, 2007.)