Edited by Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns.
Universidad de Buenos Aires. Argentina
Essays are sought for an academic book that aims to examine the popular cycle of films widely known as “giallo.” Growing out of the Gothic Italian cycle (but influenced by foreign cycles such as the German “Krimi” film), the giallo film was a cultural and historical phenomenon. Meaning yellow in Italian, the giallo was an umbrella term for crime fiction, named after the bright yellow covers of cheap paperbacks ranging from Agatha Christie to Edgar Wallace. Soon enough, the term giallo was adopted to signify a Italian cycle of thriller cinema much closer to the horror film than the suspense or noir films made in America. Mario Bava kickstarted the cycle with two films, The Girl who Knew Too Much (La Ragazza che Sapeva Troppo, 1963) and Blood and Black Lace (Sei Donne per l’Assesino, 1964), while Dario Argento gave the definitive form with his The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (L’Uccello dalle Piume di Cristallo, 1970). The giallo film influenced its American counterparts, paving the path to the American slasher formula of the 1980s.
Even if there are two books on the subject, including Mikel Koven’s excellent La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film (McFarland, 2006) —a monograph recounting the history of the cycle—, there is a strong lack on essays taking individual films for a close reading and analytical insight. Thus, for this collection, I am not interested in chapters engaging with an overview of the cycle but in essays analyzing individual, overlooked films and unexplored areas and directors. Essays on the usual “suspects” such as Bava or Argento are welcome, but my goal is offering a critical collection on the most neglected aspects of the cycle.
With this purpose in mind, mi intention is to gather together a group of essays covering ignored areas:
First, works on overlooked directors such as Massimo Dallamano (What Have you Done to Solange?, 1972), Aldo Lado (The Short Night of the Glass Dolls, 1971), Sergio Martino (The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, 1971; Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, 1972; Torso, 1973), Lucio Fulci (Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, 1971; Don’t Torture a Duckling, 1972), Luciano Ercoli (Death Walks on High Heels, 1971), Giuseppe Bennati (L’Assasino ha Riservato Nove Poltrone, 1974), or Paolo Cavara (Black Belly of the Tarantula, 1971), among many others.
Second, works on the completely neglected cycle of foreign giallos, including Spanish films such as Una Libélula para cada Muerto (Leon Klimovsky, 1975), El Pez de los Ojos de Oro (Pedro Luis Ramírez, 1974), Los Ojos Azules de la Muñeca Rota (Carlos Aured, 1973), La Corrupción de Chris Miller (Juan Antonio Bardem, 1973), El techo de Cristal (Eloy de la Iglesia, 1971), or La Muerte Ronda a Mónica (Ramón Fernández, 1976), and American gialli such as Alice, Sweet Alice (Alfred Sole, 1976), Eyes of Laura Mars (Irvin Kershner, 1978), Private Parts (Paul Bartel, 1972), or Dressed to Kill(Brian de Palma, 1980).
Third, essays on what can be termed as “neo-gialli”, meaning, contemporary films that try to honor the aesthetics and narrative tropes of the Italian giallo. This revival, currently very lively, demonstrates the interest and influence that the cycle is still projecting in contemporary thriller/horror cinema. Neo-gialli includes Basic Instinct(Paul Verhoeven, 1992), Knight Moves (Carl Schenkel, 1992), Amer (Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, 2009), The Neon Demon (Nicolas Winding Reig, 2016), The Strange Color of your Body’s Tears (Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, 2013),Francesca (Luciano Onetti, 2015) or Un Couteau dans le Coeur (Yan González, 2018), this last film, a beautiful rewriting of Argento’s Bird with the Crystal Plumage.
These lists are far from exhaustive. All disciplinary approaches are welcome, including psychoanalytic, queer, adaptation studies, historical approach, animal studies, philosophy, posthumanism, trauma studies, gender studies, etc.
Please submit 300-500 word abstracts with working title and short bio to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 31, 2019. Abstracts must be delivered as a Word attachment. Two publishers have shown interest in the project.
Please, share this CFP with all you believe might be interested. Thanks.
Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns (PhD student) works as Professor at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) - Facultad de Filosofía y Letras (Argentina)-. He teaches courses on international horror film and is director of the research group on horror cinema “Grite.” He has published chapters in the books Divine Horror, edited by Cynthia Miller, To See the Saw Movies: Essays on Torture Porn and Post 9/11 Horror, edited by John Wallis, Critical Insights: Alfred Hitchcock, edited by Douglas Cunningham, Dreamscapes in Italian Cinema, edited by Francesco Pascuzzi, Reading Richard Matheson: A Critical Survey, edited by Cheyenne Mathews, Time-Travel Television, edited by Sherry Ginn, James Bond and Popular Culture, edited by Michele Brittany, and The Man in the High Castle and Philosophy, edited by Bruce Krajewski, among others. He has authored a book about Spanish horror TV series Historias para no Dormir.