The Bird With The Crystal Plumage is Argento’s directing debut. It’s the film responsible for bringing Giallo in the cinema landscape. But, what does it mean for the modern viewer? Tony Musante isn’t the typical Argento lead, but he does his best as the American in a situation he doesn’t understand. What’s funny about this film is that you can feel the training wheels for where Argento would go next.
Dario Argento is one of those directors that has a rabid fanbase that appreciates him to a certain point. While adapting a cult mystery novel into a film adaptation isn’t always the best starting point, it did allow Argento to nail down what worked for him. Misleading events, obscured identities and shock endings all come together to create something that Argento only did well in the 70s-early 90s.
It’s neat to see that directors of a certain age all share the same trappings around the globe. But, what do you do with a film like The Bird with the Crystal Plumage when looking back on it 51 years later? That’s why tackling master directors’ debuts is so difficult. Are you ever judging the merits of the movie on its own? Plus, is it fair to judge a start against where you know it’s going?
Italian horror is something that readers, fellow writers and distributors are trying to get me to watch more and more. Honestly, I’m not ignorant of that film arena. It’s just that these features never grabbed me in those formative film fan years. I was well into college before I even saw The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and I kept comparing it to the Argento era I preferred. Sorry, people. Once a Suspiria kid, always a Suspiria kid.
What is amazing about The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is how close it plays to a standard American feature. The sexuality and violence seen in later Argento films is missing there. That’s not to say that the film is a light affair. However, it wouldn’t be until The Cat O’ Nine Tails that Argento proper would emerge. That being said, it’s easy enough of a Giallo film to introduce to casuals.
While Limited Edition 4K discs tend to do is sell out. So, if you want The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, jump on it right away. Sure, they’ll put out a standard edition a few months later. Just don’t be the sucker among your friends that missed out. I still remember the time when all of the other older film fans got their Crimson Peak Limited Editions and kicked me out of the Cool Kid Club. The memory haunts me forever.
Beyond that desire to evade shame, the Bird with the Crystal Plumage Limited Edition comes with its own perks. You get interviews, a commentary and some lobby cards inside of the package. While this is the first UHD release of the Bird with The Crystal Plumage, I don’t see a ton of people hunting this release down right away. Just kidding. The limited edition will be sold out in days.
Arrow Video brings the goods with this package loaded with all the special features. But, you also get this stunning A/V Quality. I want everyone to take a moment and look at this fresh from the source true 4K screenshots. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage has never looked this great. While I can already hear people complaining about it being too dark in points, it remains true to the film’s look.
Plus, that doesn’t make any sense. Italian films of that period skewed to this look and I can’t wait for you to see how Cat O’ Nine Tails looks in 4K. That being said, we’re going to be walking through a ton of new 4Ks coming up for the next few months. Enjoy!