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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Italy / France

Dario Argento dusts off his Dark Glasses for his comeback feature

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- The Italo-horror master recently wrapped his first feature in a decade, a return to the giallo genre he pioneered

Dario Argento dusts off his Dark Glasses for his comeback feature
Ilenia Pastorelli in Dark Glasses

Dario Argento may be a less professionally active filmmaker these days, but his oddly macabre influence is everywhere: in the new generation of young-gun horror filmmakers, as prestige remake fodder with 2018’s Suspiria [+see also:
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, and even through his lead acting role in Gaspar Noé’s recently Cannes-premiered Vortex [+see also:
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. So the stage has truly been set for his return to proper feature filmmaking with Dark Glasses, a Rome-set giallo that wrapped last August and is currently receiving a new promotional push from its sales agent, Wild Bunch International, in light of November’s American Film Market. The film was produced by Conchita Airoldi and Laurentina Guidotti for Rome-based Urania Pictures, with Getaway Films in Paris on board as a co-producer.

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Beyond his enshrined 1977 classic Suspiria, Argento’s work tends to feature storylines of an especially twisted and off-beat nature, often explicable through a kind of dream logic. And forget about contemporary notions of political correctness. Argento and co-writer Franco Ferrini’s script for Dark Glasses, developed over a handful of years, bears this out: rising Italian actress Ilenia Pastorelli will star as a prostitute blinded by a serial killer in a botched attack, who rescues and looks after Chin (newcomer Andrea Zhang), a young Chinese boy whose life has also been altered forever by her assailant’s actions in an unrelated incident. He becomes her ally in a “terrifying struggle” to see off the serial killer forever.

Set in high-class, urban Rome, as well as its rural outskirts, it unites the worlds of the chic hotels around the city’s Via Veneto and its Chinese population. “She’s an adult and blind; he’s too young to get by on his own. In addition, these are two different cultures: she is Italian; the child is Chinese. This combination is the engine of Dark Glasses,” as Argento put it in a statement. “The film represents my desire to explore two worlds: hers, we know it; his is more mysterious, and it will let us enter the neighbourhoods, houses and customs of the Chinese community in Rome, where they created a real ‘Chinatown’.”

Asia Argento, the director’s daughter, will also be in tow for a role in the film. Argento’s most recent movie prior to this was the poorly received Dracula 3D [+see also:
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, the umpteenth adaptation of Bram Stoker’s tale, which premiered at Cannes in 2012, as a midnight screening. The film has alternatively, in English, been referred to as Black Glasses – evoking the taut, black leather that the classic giallo killer tends to don.

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