Europa Cinema > 22:00


Pupi Avati


Sunday 25/06/2023


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

One of the biggest successes of Avati’s entire filmography, the film has stood the test of time, earning its place in books and essays dedicated to noir, giallo and gothic cinema and achieving cult status, even beyond national borders…
The idea came from one of the stories that Avati used to listen to as a child, next to a fireplace which cast a flickering light into the dark corners of a country house filled with strange sounds and phantoms. “The country legends which  I used in some of my films derived from stories my aunts told… violence, blood, amputated limbs, death, the permeable boundary between life and the beyond. These tales were pedagogic, but not moralistic; they were simply a deterrent, designed to instil fear into children”…
La casa dalle finestre che ridono does not fit easily into studies of genre cinema; the way it shifts between giallo and noir, with detours into horror, make it hard to classify. The codes which define these genres are all clearly delineated. Shadows, banging shutters, creaking doors, wheezing voices uttering terrifying threats over the telephone, wailing cats, subjective shots… The “Avati touch” expands into new areas, beginning with his choice of location… If the Italian giallo is basically a metropolitan phenomenon, Avati catapults us bravely – and probably as a result of his absolute financial independence – into the dark heart of   a provincial backwater. In so doing, he generates a sense of disorientation and isolation, which is further accentuated by its historical setting, in the 1950s… The River Po delta, Comacchio, the backward countryside between Bologna and Ferrara. The film emphasises emptiness and a lack of borders where the Po is no longer an imposing river but rather a spidery network, which gives rise to an unhealthy marshland. Despite its vastness, the landscape comes across as claustrophobic, thanks also to a sickly light which envelops the scene.

Andrea Maioli, Pupi Avati. Sogni Incubi Visioni, Edizioni Cineteca di Bologna, Bologna 2019


Cast and Credits

Sog.: Pupi Avati, Antonio Avati. Scen.: Pupi Avati, Antonio Avati, Gianni Cavina, Maurizio Costanzo. F.: Pasquale Rachini. M.: Giuseppe Baghdighian. Scgf.: Luciana Morosetti. Mus.: Amedeo Tommasi. Int.: Lino Capolicchio (Stefano), Francesca Marciano (Francesca), Gianni Cavina (Coppola), Giulio Pizzirani (Antonio Mazza), Eugene Walter (don Orsi), Ines Ciaschetti (maestra), Bob Tonelli (Solmi), Pietro Brambilla (Lidio), Ferdinando Orlandi (il maresciallo), Andrea Matteuzzi (Poppi). Prod.: Antonio Avati, Gianni Minervini per A.M.A. Film. DCP. Col