Exclusive: Dario Argento Talks The Sandman

The Sandman PosterThis, my friends, is a fan-boy’s dream. I was recently given the opportunity to interview the legend that is Dario Argento regarding his latest flick The Sandman, which is a fan-funded flick by way of Indiegogo. So, anyway I shoot over a bunch of questions and for what ever reason it might be, Dario was only able to answer four. It was a total bummer. But, nonetheless it was still an honor to have someone of that stature even take a gander at something that I wrote and I’m thrilled to bits that he even answered some. So, below we have the very short Q&A regarding The Sandman, and even though it’s not as much as I had planned, his answers are still pretty sweet.

It was recently announced that you’re working on a new film with David Tully, entitled The Sandman. How did this come about and why the direction to turn to crowdfunding with indiegogo?

Times are changing and so are production patterns and strategies. The distribution is getting more and more difficult and the studio system is getting more and more intrusive in creative choices. And in Italy there is not a studio system anymore, not as it used to be at the time of my early films, when movie theaters were always full of people and Italian films were often blockbusters. Now the Italian studio system is very slow, complicated and -worst of all- terribly discouraged.

Personally I think it is great that you’re going through something like indiegogo, as you actually get to have the fans on-board from the get go. But what has the reaction been like with you?

One of the reasons I accepted to work with crowd funding is to re-catch full creative freedom, as I had at the time of the early films you mentioned. I can’t say if The Sandman will have the same territorial trajectory but definitely it will have the same taste and atmosphere of those early films. I think that the audience that appreciated my early work will love it. We are also involving some Asian creative elements (such as the music by Akira Yamaoka in addition to the score of Claudio Simonetti) because there’s a strong affinity between my works and some Asian new film tendencies.

In the film, we follow a young student named Nathan, who does battle with the masked serial killer, The Sandman, what more can you tell us about the story and the direction that you’re taking?

I think that the original version of this dark fairy-tale is more scary and uncompromised than many of the successive North American retelling’s. The atmospheres are darker and more gothic. After all, every dark myth comes from this part of Europe, Frankenstein, Dracula, Sandman. The original cradle of the dark myth is there.

As we all know, music has played a huge part in your films over the years, especially with the likes of Goblin, who crafted some of their best work in Suspiria. But how did the relationship with Iggy Pop come about for his role in The Sandman?

The idea came from the producers of Sandman. They knew that Iggy had a strong admiration for my work and always wanted to work with me. They suggested his name and I immediately accepted with great enthusiasm because I think Iggy Pop has an incredible expressive power. Fear has many nuances: it is subtle, inscrutable, sometimes ironic. The real monsters are evil and mocking and Iggy has all this expressive nuances and hues

I think the horror film reflects and tries to exorcise the fears that are part of the popular customs at a given moment in history. Probably in the 90’s, and 2000s prevailed a latent fear of the violence of man against man, and the creative transposition of such fears originated the “Scream” series or the torture porn films you mentioned. I believe that now, as in the 70’s and 80’s, a fear of the “invisible” is coming back. Our “material” reality is surrounded by thinner realities of which we know very little. And fear can lurk everywhere, even in the most commonly used objects. Just this morning I read that wi-fi networks can have terrible effects on health. It is not hard to imagine how all of this “invisible” that surrounds us can be scary and stimulate a new wave of “ghost movies”.

Also, folks. The Sandman is fully funded, in fact it has exceeded its goal, so be sure to keep those eyes peeled for Dario’s latest film The Sandman, which is made possible by you! For more information on the film, head on over to their official Facebook page.

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