Celebrating Val Lewton & Dario Argento

Attention horror aficionados! At The Evening Class Michael Guillen has organized a Blogathon to celebrate the work of Val Lewton in conjunction with the new Val Lewton documentary produced by Martin Scorsese called The Man in the Shadows, which premieres on Turner Movie Classics (TCM) tonight. Lewton produced and wrote some of my favorite horror films from the ’40s, including his under-appreciated classic The Seventh Victim. The Seventh Victim was directed by the great Mark Robson, who made some terrific films for Lewton, but I think The Seventh Victim is their best joint effort. The movie even made my own list of 31 Films That Give Me the Willies, which I compiled for Halloween.

Over at Final Girl Stace Ponder is hosting her monthly film club, which takes a look a Dario Argento’s horrific masterpiece Suspiria. Her blog readers were asked to watch the film and participate in writing about the movie and there’s some nice observations being shared there.

I had planned in participating in both events by writing about the way Lewton’s The Seventh Victim influenced Dario Argento Suspiria and informed Italian horror cinema in general, but a head cold and pressing deadlines for other writing projects I’m currently working on sort of got in the way of my weekend plans, but don’t let my absence stop you from participating in these fun events! If you’re not up for writing about Val Lewton or Dario Argento’s Suspiria you can still participate by reading all the posts and offering up your own comments.

The Evening Class Val Lewton Blogathon
Final Girl Film Club on Suspiria

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7 thoughts on “Celebrating Val Lewton & Dario Argento

  1. Keith says:

    Sounds cool to me. Val Lewton definitely has been an inspiration to so many. I saw part of this doc last night when I got home from work. I hope you get well soon. Take care of yourself.

  2. cinebeats says:

    Thanks Keith! The doc was interesting even though I was rather out of it while I watched. I recorded it so I hope to watch it again when I’m not full of cold meds.

    I did notice that the doc seemed to short change The Seventh Victim… again. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seemed like all his other films got more coverage.

  3. robertmonell says:

    THE SEVENTH VICTIM seems to have been an influence on INFERNO as has been mentioned. I saw it in 35mm in New York City in 1975 and it really impressed me. Not much coverage of it in the doc, though. My favorite is I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE, a perfect masterwork. I watched it again after the doc and it always floors me. It was interesting to see Tourneur being interviewed, also.

  4. fulcanalli says:

    Yes. The Seventh Victim has been indicated even by Argento for Inferno, instead Suspiria is connected more with Cat People, in fact he makes in this film his own vision of the famous swimming pool scene by the Tourner movie.

    by the way I’d like to see the documentary in italian. Wonderful site and wonderful tastes Cinebeats.

  5. cinebeats says:

    Thanks for the feedback! And I appreciate the nice comment Fulcanalli.

    I’ve read about Jacques Tourneur’s influence on Argneto, but I haven’t come across any mention of the way Robson’s films may have influenced him. Generally speaking, it seems that Robson’s work with Lewton is often overlooked in favor of the films he made with Jacques Tourneur, but I think The Seventh Victim is an extremely important movie and if you look hard enough you might see traces of the films influence on Suspiria like I do.

    I do want to add that an entire book could be written about the many ways in which the pool scene in Cat People has influenced countless films that followed it. In particular though, I think Italian horror cinema and gialli is often seeped in Lewton’s influences.

  6. Maya says:

    Kimberly, I’m sorry I’m so late getting back to you to thank you for the shout-out regarding the Val Lewton blogathon. I hope you’re feeling better. And whenever, or if ever, you feel like writing that piece about Lewton’s influence on Argento, please just let me and I’ll link it into the blogathon belatedly! I would love to read it!

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