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The Strangler (L'Étrangleur)
Dir. Paul Vecchiali
An unconventional French giallo released before the sub-genre’s popularity boom resulting from filmmakers like Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, THE STRANGLER centers on Émile (Jacques Perrin, The Young Girls of Rochefort), a handsome young man targeting women he believes are too depressed to go on living. As multiple women fall to Émile’s suffocating white scarf, inspector Simon Dangret, the detective assigned to track down the killer, resorts to seriously unorthodox and even unethical methods to get his man with the assistance of Anna, a beautiful woman who believes herself to be a potential victim.
Praised as a “complex, melancholic meditation on isolation as well as a portrait of collective hysteria” by the New York Film Festival, the film equally subverts and indulges in the conventions of the giallo with unexpected beauty and refinement. Director Paul Vecchiali has been hailed as a “icon of a rebellious, reflexive, and emotionally excessive cinema” by Le Monde and celebrated for his prolific filmography and decades spanning career as a critic, director, and producer.
Year of Production: 1970. Running Time: 96 min.
In French with English Subtitles