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TOVOLI AND ALBANI WITH ARGENTO


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#1 Alex Birrell

Alex Birrell
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Posted 08 March 2009 - 08:30 AM

Hi all!

I am an enormous fan of the films of Dario Argento and wondered if anyone had any information or comments about the photography of two of his films, TENEBRE (1982 - photographed by Luciano Tovoli) and PHENOMENA (1985 - photographed by Romano Albani).

I remember once reading an old Italian interview (in Italian!) in which Tovoli talked about shooting TENEBRE with a then new type of light called the Pulsar which pulsed at an unusual number of beats a second. Any information anyone? I can't find out much about these lights. TENEBRE has an amazing look, hot, bright and very overexposed. Does anyone have some info on how they achieved this particular look?

I have to say that PHENOMENA features some of my favourite photography in the horror genre. Again I've read an old Italian interview and Albani talks about filmed with a process that eliminated 50% of the natural colours. I assume his is talking about the ENR process as the film was processed at Technicolor Rome four years after REDS.

However, what interests me is that I have both the US and Italian dvds and the transfers are remarkably different. The Italian dvd is gorgeous with a velvety image and thick rich colours that limit themselves to exasperated tungsten orange and harsh blue "moonlight". The US dvd on the other hand is taken from rather scratchy source material and also features very pale colours with a heavy blue-ish cast. I was wondering which dvd represents how PHENOMENA was intended to be seen. As the ENR process is applied to prints maybe the US dvd is taken from a print and actually shows the film with colours as intended and the Italian dvd is taken from an interpositive minted from the negative with the colours unaltered. Does anyone know anything about it?
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