Euro-Horror Project: A Whisper in the Dark

(Marcello Aliprandi, 1976) Another beautiful, textile-heavy offering from the visual maestros of 1970s Italy, A Whisper in the Dark is 100% genuine imitation Bertolucci/Argento, but what an imitation it is. Cinematographer Claudio Cirillo may be standing in for Storaro, but his work here is so renowned, he’s given the honor of introducing the film on the NoShame DVD release. Composer Pino Donaggio may be aspiring to Morriconean melancholy, but his score literally hits all the right notes. The cast isn’t thin, either. John Phillip Law and Nathalie Delon are the tony parents of two daughters and a pensive son (Alessandro Poggi) — whose imaginary friend commands far too much of the family’s attention — while Joseph Cotton makes an appearance as a possible quack psychiatrist called in to tend to the son’s possible delusions. Filled with visual cues to films like The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Conformist, Aliprandi’s stunning knockoff prods film lovers in superficial ways, for the most part, but pleases nonetheless. The movie fails to deliver a chill, but it speaks to the strange reverie of aristocratic detachment, and some scenes will stake a claim in your memory bank; the children’s party is a centerpiece, its bubble-bright colors tracked by Cirillo’s roving lens. And color, really, is what makes A Whisper in the Dark come alive and earn a strong recommendation. – Ranylt Richildis

What’s the Euro-Horror Project?


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