Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (1970) Blu-Ray Review
The Bird With The Crystal Plumage
Reviewed by: Jennie KermodeRead James Gracey's film review of The Bird With The Crystal Plumage
This handsome new edition of Dario Argento's much-admired giallo comes with an extensive array of special features. An exclusive double sided poster, six lobby card reproductions and a 60 page illustrated booklet about the film are a treat for fans, and there's a lot more on the discs themselves.
Though the featurettes here vary in quality and sometimes tread over the same ground (making them more enjoyable to watch over several nights rather than in one long binge), there's some good stuff in there, including a rare interview with Argento himself in which he talks about the challenges of making the film and the combination of serendipity and determination that eventually got him there, announcing his entry on the cinematic stage and inviting comparisons with Hitchcock. There's also an interview with Gildo Di Marco, who had supporting roles in this and several other Argento films and has a lot to say about the Italian industry of the period. Helpfully, these and other featurettes display warning notices to let the viewer know what sort of spoilers they include, so you can decide whether to plunge into them straight away or wait until you've watched this or other films. A rather hit and miss critical thinkpiece about sexuality in Argento's work also includes spoilers for the book on which this film was based.
In addition to these, there's commentary by Troy Howarth, modest in tone but highly detailed and likely to reveal some new snippets of information even to hardcore fans.
The film itself has been beautifully restored from an original print and is presented here in its original aspect ratio. It starts up automatically in the English dub but you have the option of switching to the Italian version and English subtitles can be activated on either. These suffer from the white-on-white problem in some scenes but are otherwise well done, translating things like newspaper headlines as well as speech in order to enable a fuller appreciation of Argento's layered work.Reviewed on: 16 Jun 2017