Sunday, 27 December 2015

Revisiting Baron Blood

Rada Rassimov in communion with Rada Rassimov in an astonishing shot from Baron Blood... I watched Mario Bava's 1972 picture earlier today and prior to this morning's screening, had someone mentioned the film I might have shrugged it off as a middling Bava picture. Perhaps it was the upswing from the old Anchor Bay DVD to the Arrow Blu-Ray, but I thought this latest revisit was absolutely wonderful. Evidently, I had been dozing on that first initial screening a few years ago because much of it I had forgotten. If you've only previously seen the Anchor Bay DVD, this is one to upgrade to Blu-Ray to fully appreciate some of Bava's densest compositions, with the Maestro making the most of the film's ready-to-wear castle, shooting actors through decorative iron railings and mining some genuine spatial surrealism from those tricky spiral staircases. And I very much enjoyed watching the Baron himself dash about like a resurrected Matthew Hopkins.

Strictly speaking I watched the film twice today - when I finished my first pass of the film I momentarily flicked on Tim Lucas' commentary to check if a certain shot was reused from Bay of Blood (it wasn't), and ended up re-watching the entire film with Tim's excellent comprehensive, detailed overview, which reveals a wealth of fascinating production history and wonderful factoids - if you're looking to discover Bava's fleeting cameo, the director's tip of the hat to a Rembrandt painting, or an amusing anecdote about Antonioni, be sure to tune in. And thanks to Tim I'll be rolling up the sleeves in search of a copy of 1941 Italian film The Iron Crown which comes recommended...

No comments:

Post a Comment