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Double Bill: Bird with the Crystal Plumage + The Driller Killer at Watershed, Bristol

14th July 2019

Yann Gonzalez’s Knife + Heart plays like a rep house double bill in one movie; it has all the darkness and drama of Abel Ferrara’s Driller Killer combined with the style and mystery of Dario Argento’s The Bird With the Crystal Plumage.

– Tara Judah, Watershed Cinema Curator

Join us for a double bill of two key titles from 1970’s that proved a key influence on the films of Yann Gonzalez - Abel Ferrara’s cult thriller The Driller Killer; and a film which redefined the ‘giallo’ genre catapulting its director to international stardom – Dario Argento’s The Bird with the Crystal Plumage.

The Bird With the Crystal Plumage

Dir: Dario Argento, 1970, Italy, 1hr 36mins)

Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante), an American writer living in Rome, inadvertently witnesses a brutal attack on a woman (Eva Renzi) in a modern art gallery. Powerless to help, he grows increasingly obsessed with the incident. Convinced that something he saw that night holds the key to identifying the maniac terrorising Rome, he launches his own investigation parallel to that of the police, heedless of the danger to both himself and his girlfriend Giulia (Suzy Kendall)…

A staggeringly assured debut, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage established the key traits that would define director Dario Argento’s career, including lavish visuals and a flare for wildly inventive, brutal scenes of violence..

The Driller Killer

Dir: Abel Ferrara, 1979, USA, 1hr 36mins)

The title alone of Abel Ferrara’s cult slasher was enough to get it on the Video Nasties list. Essentially concerned with a troubled man, Reno Miller (played by Ferrara himself, under the pseudonym Jimmy Laine), who cracks under immense pressure and gives vent to his rage in a murderous rampage with a drill powered by his Porta-Pak belt, this combination of sublime art and gutter trash, of soaring creativity and distaste announced the arrival of one of cinema most difficult and elusive of filmmakers.

Far from a mere video nasty, Ferrara’s gory gem shatters our complacency and forces us to confront our moral choices. Over 40 years on, there’s still nothing else quite like it.

Please note: there will be a 30 minute interval between the films.

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