(Dario Argento, Italy, 1977): Giallo maestro and former Sergio Leone screenwriter Dario Argento's global reputation was forged here, in a movie about an American dance student (Jessica Harper) who arrives at a remote German academy presided over by Joan Bennett and Alida Valli and prone to...

(Sergio Leone, Italy/Spain/West Germany, 1964): "There's money to be made in a place like this." So speaks the stranger (Clint Eastwood) of the desert shithole he's just ridden into on the back of a mule. The town, pretty much two rows of bleached buildings facing a...

(Vittorio De Sica, Italy, 1952): Italian neorealism's last gasp, Vittorio De Sica's Umberto D. is charged with both marking the termination of the great postwar cinematic movement and hastening its decline. The first claim is credible: after this, it would be Fellini who would grasp the torch, and...

Note: the following ran in The Globe and Mail in March, 2014. Like so much of his art, the death of Pier Paolo Pasolini was open to interpretation. When his battered body, bludgeoned and crushed under the wheels of his own car, was found near a soccer field...

(Federico Fellini, Italy, 1954): Hitting the road in late 1953, Federico Fellini landed somewhere between his neorealist past and a fabulist future, and smack in the middle of controversy. When his poignant but hard-bitten road fable La Strada premiered at the Venice festival in 1954, it might have...

(Guilio Questi, Italy,, 1967): Speaking during the retrospective making-of documentary featured on the 2002 Blue Underground DVD of this legendarily strange Euro art-western, star Tomas Milian nails matters when he describes the movie as a cult item in a cult genre. It's one of those projects...

Bird With the Crystal Plumage  (Dario Argento, Italy, 1969): Dario Argento's first feature, a retrospectively tame, inarguably polished and ultimately rather ridiculous Euro psycho-killer movie. Like Brian de Palma, to whom he must inescapably be compared, Argento is an unabashed borrower and set-piece fusser, which...