Date(s) - Tue. Nov. 30, 2010 - Tue. Dec. 14, 2010
6:00 pm GMT - 9:00 pm GMT

Blue Sunshine

Donato Totaro


Over the past 30 years Italian director Mario Bava has gone from relative obscurity to being acknowledged as perhaps the most significant and influential Post World War 2 European horror director. While Italian film critics were slow to appreciate his talents, Bava had plenty of critical and professional admirers across the Atlantic, including such directors as Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton, Joe Dante, John Carpenter and Quentin Tarantino. This course will examine Bava’s enduring legacy by first situating him within the Post WW2 Italian film industry, where the dominant genre changed according to popular trend (peplum, giallo, spaghetti western, gothic horror, crime film, etc.), and then with close analysis of some of his key films to arrive at an understanding of his unique stylistic and thematic contributions to the horror genre. The approach of the course will be to perform close formal analysis of shots and scenes to demonstrate Bava’s unique atmospheric treatment of space through camera movement, lighting, and inventive technical solutions to creative problems. Bava was a master of many genres and experimented with different strains of the horror film, including science-fiction/horror, peplum/horror, psychological horror and the supernatural, but the course will focus on his groundbreaking contributions to the giallo (a sub-genre for which Bava laid down the foundation) and the gothic. Films/extracts to be screened include I Vampyr (1956), La maschera del demonio/The Mask of Satan (1960), I tre volti della paura/Black Sabbath (1963), La ragazza che sapeva troppo/The Evil Eye (1963), Sei donne per l’assassino/Blood and Black Lace (1964), Operazione paura/Kill Baby, Kill (1966), and Reazione a catena/Twitch of the Death Nerve (1971).