Farewell, goodbye to giallo queen Daria Nicolodi

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European Library Foundation of Information and Culture

Ana Costanzo, Co-editor

Enchanted by a hypnosis leaving me paralyzed and fixating on the stylized and alt-right exploitative gore on the screen, I attempt to lull myself into the vapid world of oblivion. Once I’m sucked into the giallo master’s void, there is no escape. However, Dario Argento is not the sole artisan of his oeuvre. 

Similar to French New Wave actress Anna Karina who was most known for starring in her former husband Jean-Luc Godard’s films, Daria Nicolodi is renowned for her collaboration with her former husband, the said giallo master. Moreover, Nicolodi was a creative partner to Argento, aiding in the craftsmanship behind his most admired films such as Suspiria (1977) of which she co-wrote and Deep Red (1975) of which she starred with David Hemmings. 

On Nov. 26, Nicolodi passed away at the age of 70 in Rome. There was no maniacal killer on the prowl, thirsting for Nicolodi’s blood as in the case of Deep Red (thank heavens she did not meet a giallo death). However, Nicolodi’s daughter did not provide a cause of death, simply a statement of adoration and love for her late mother. 

So too I provide such a statement. After all, Suspiria was my first giallo film, giallo itself an international pulpy genre similar to American slasher films. 

But reigning with supreme sophistication and a touch of splatter horror, giallo films (primarily Argento’s) are the pinnacle of extreme distaste and putrefaction. Suspiria remains one of my favorite horror films for its stylized expressionism (and Goblin soundtrack!), as well as its beautiful storyline. Moreover, Deep Red with its mysticism and color palette offers a parallel to Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now (1973), albeit with more gore and blood-curdling screaming à la Argento. 

I am always ecstatic upon the discovery of a female film creator, especially one so legendary as Nicolodi. 

Moreover, I find it distasteful for America to disregard such a giallo queen in favor of remakes and sequels of outdone, prosaic horror films. Perhaps the news of Nicolodi’s death will reach this coastline and thus attune attention to this Italian goddess’s ascent. Then they will bat an eyelash regarding her inimitable talents. 

If not, then may the giallo masters welcome her.