Très clairement l'un des plus beaux Argento, hommage à Blow Up, entraînement pour le futur Profondo Rosso, le film est un très bon giallo. L'intrigue est prenante, quelques scènes très réussies (à l'aide du montage et de la lumière notamment), Tony Musante convaincant, et un Morricone inspiré et adapté. Il se revoit avec plaisir.
[Spoilers] Formally Argento's best film; romantic interplay without the silliness of "Profondo Rosso", decent acting without the hamminess of "Suspiria", and a more believable killer than that of "Opera". Plus, a great twist where our presumptions about the gender of victim and killer are neatly reversed.
Honestly, I prefer Argento's earlier mystery films like this and Deep Red to his later supernatural horror pieces. There's a level of style and suspense here that's flashy, but also restrained. Also, am I the only one who thinks the freakiest character was the artist who eats cats? That was hard to stomach.
Musante, like the audience, is witness to an event. Trapped behind the glass of the screen, we watch, passively, impotently, as a drama takes place. What we see is significant. But how can we trust something as manipulative as film? Through investigation? So the film - produced by a former critic - is effectively a study on 'film viewing'; how an audience (witness?) can scrutinise form in order to find answers...
The Bird With the Crystal Plumage wasn't great but it wasn't awful. It didn't pick up until the last 15-20 minutes. Aside from that and Ennio Morricone's score, not a hell of a lot stood out. Guess it was too hyped for me...
Dario Argento's feature debut clearly illustrates his budding talent as a visual cinematic genius. Taking a rather ordinary giallo plot, he stages stunning sequences that take the genre to new heights. The plot drags in places, and some of the twists don't really make sense - but still a classic thriller. Ennio Morricone's evocative score adds an eerie touch.
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is an assured debut that boasts many of the things that would later become the director's trademark, but one has to wonder what Dario Argento might have achieved if a credible writer would have handed him down a plausible script without all of the contrived plot devices and ludicrous dialogue. Sit down, suspend disbelief, and take in all of the violently beautiful compositions.