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Black Sunday$
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Martyn Conterio

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733834

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733834.001.0001

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(p.63) 5. Analysis
Black Sunday

Martyn Conterio

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses Mario Bava's debut feature film, Black Sunday, which is considered to be among the most stylish horror films ever made and won praise for its delicious look and cinematography. It illustrates Black Sunday's ravishing mise-en-scène that marries fairy tale to surrealist irrationality, as well as ingenious special-effects design. It also mentions Tom Milne, who summed up Bava's film as a chillingly beautiful and brutal horror film that is superb and a chiaroscuro symphony of dank crypts and swirling fog-grounds. The chapter recounts how Bava filmed on monochrome stock and delivered what is touted as the last great black-and-white Gothic horror picture. It talks about the clever effects and use of miniatures, matte paintings, grotesque character transformations and the painted backdrops in black-and-white that is fused together to create a magical air.

Keywords:   Mario Bava, Black Sunday, horror films, mise-en-scène, fairy tale, surrealist irrationality, chiaroscuro symphony

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