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Sunday, June 19, 2022
Argento’s mid-career masterpiece is a partial reimagining of Gaston Leroux’s classic novel The Phantom of the Opera (which the director would explicitly adapt in 1998), drawing further inspiration from his own abortive experience mounting a stage production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto. The film concerns a budding soprano (Cristina Marsillach) who, through the homicidal mediations of a masked stalker, rises to a lead role in an avant-garde staging of Verdi’s Macbeth (whose director, played by Ian Charleson, is a former horror filmmaker). Made shortly after the paranormal-tinged Phenomena, the dizzyingly self-referential Opera took the director’s penchant for provocation to new heights and reaffirmed his knack for staging brutal, operatic violence. 4K digital restoration by Cinecittà.