The Stendhal Syndrome

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When beautiful police detective Anna Manni follows the bloody trail of a sophisticated serial murderer/rapist through the streets of Italy, the young woman falls victim to the bizarre "Stendhal Syndrome" - a hallucinatory phenomenon which causes her to lose her mind and memory in the presence of powerful works of art. Trapped in this twilight realm, Anna plunges deeper and deeper into sexual psychosis, until she comes to know the killer's madness more intimately than she ever imagined. (official distributor synopsis)

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RUSSELL 

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English Argento started experimenting with CGI, and it turned out pretty well. He used it sparingly, only where it fit, but that's not the main point here. The key takeaway is that even after twenty-six years since his debut, Argento hasn’t lost his touch. He's still the master director we know, with his unmistakable style. This film features his trademark excellent camerawork, great music, a unique atmosphere, a well-crafted script, a suspenseful plot, and of course, a decent amount of gore — though not as much as some of his other works. Asia Argento shines in the lead role, delivering a solo performance that dominates the screen. Dario doesn’t need to look for other talented and beautiful actresses when he has the best one right at home. And he certainly doesn't go easy on her. He mentally unravels her character, plunging her into bizarre hallucinations (like kissing a strange fish), making her cut off her long hair, or painting herself from head to toe. If that’s not enough, he has her character raped twice by a slimy blond creep (brilliantly played by Thomas Kretschmann) and stretches those scenes to intensify the horror — no mercy even for his daughter. That’s how it goes when you’re the daughter of a cinematic genius who's unflinchingly committed to his craft — and a bit of a madman. I was almost ready to give this film a full five stars, but the slightly dragging second half and the somewhat predictable ending held me back. Still, overall, I was thoroughly satisfied. Dario Argento rules! ()

kaylin 

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English There are violent scenes here that are well-directed, and Dario held back and didn't exploit his daughter for once. Kretschmann is demonic enough, but the story just doesn't work all that well overall. As an insight into the inner workings of a mad mind, it's good, but certainly not exceptional. As a film, it's then too inconsistent for me, and individual impressions disperse over too long a runtime. ()

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