Phenomena 1985 R18+
8.15PM Fri 15 Sep 2017
GOMA | Cinema A | Ticketed
Often heralded as one Dario Argento's strangest yet most personal films, Phenomena finds the director moving further away from the pure giallo of his earlier works to explore a more bizarre and dreamy vision. That is not to say the film is without its shocks – it is a rare piece of cinema that can be described as deeply personal while still featuring a pit full of maggots and a chimpanzee brandishing a razor blade – but it illustrates the expanding skillset of Argento as a filmmaker.
Jennifer Connelly, in only her second film role after debuting in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America 1984, stars as a young girl sent to a private academy in Switzerland. One night while sleepwalking, she inadvertently witnesses the brutal murder of one of her fellow students. Startled and racing through the woods, she meets Dr. McGregor (Donald Pleasance) who recruits her to help him track down the killer using her inexplicable ability to telepathically communicate with insects.
Phenomena defies all expectations as its thrilling mystery unravels. The soundtrack features Argento regular and Goblin mastermind Claudio Simonetti, alongside hardrockers Motörhead and Iron Maiden. The film is the director at his most confident and stylistically unhinged.
A note on screening materials
Phenomena was released into American theatres under the title 'Creepers'. Running 83 minutes, Creepers was a heavily cut version of Phenomena, removing whole scenes, narrative threads, and individual moments of violent content. Unfortunately, there are no 35mm screening copies of either the longer 'international cut' or the 'Italian cut'.
For our presentation of the film, the Cinémathèque will simultaneously screen a digital restoration of the 110 minute 'international cut' of Phenomena in Cinema A and a 35mm print of Creepers in Cinema B. Ticket purchasers are welcome to attend either version, depending on their preference. Both versions are in English without subtitles and are restricted to persons over the age of 18. Both versions will begin at 8.15pm Friday 15 September.
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 110 MINS, ITALY, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: DARIO ARGENTO / SCRIPT: FRANCO FERRINI, DARIO ARGENTO / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ROMANO ALBANI / EDITOR: FRANCO FRATICELLI / PRODUCTION CO: DACFILM ROME / PRINT SOURCE: AMERICAN GENRE FILM ARCHIVE / RIGHTS: INTRAMOVIES / SCREENING FORMAT: 35MM/DIGITAL
R18+ | Medium level violence, Horror theme