Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Antonio Margheriti

Antonio Margheriti, 1930 - 2002

I don't know exactly when I first became interested in Antonio Margheriti. Looking through his more than fifty directing credits spread over a forty year period, I'm not even sure which film I saw first. I have loved sixties horror and sci-fi films for as long as I can remember, but I feel like I only became aware of him as a director when I watched Wild, Wild Planet (1966) about six years ago. It was so spectacularly bonkers that I was hooked; to discover that he actually simultaneously directed four films about that world was delightful. 

I have spent the past five years writing a PhD thesis which has focused in a large part on Italian popular cinema of the 1960s, so I keep coming across Margheriti's name, although sadly I have not needed to include any of his films in my work, unlike his contemporaries such as Mario Bava or Sergio Corbucci. I decided to redress the balance by creating this blog, to enable me to slowly work through Margheriti's vast list of credits. I've considered writing a book about him, as the only one I have come across so far is in Italian, but being realistic, and with a queue of books already starting to form, I figured a blog would be safer, and ultimately more enjoyable.

In 2011 I interviewed the legendary Italian director Ruggero Deodato to mark the release of Cannibal Holocaust (1980) on blu ray and the reissue of a FAB Press book dedicated to his career. This interview was for Diabolique, a short-run publication that has recently come back from the grave. I decided that rather than talk about his horror films I would ask him about his early career in the Italian studio system, and so we chatted about his time with Corbucci, Rosselini, Bolognini and Riccardo Freda, and in particular we discussed his role as Second Unit Director on the Gamma One Space Quadrilogy alongside Margheriti. I will share here what he had to say when I get around to discussing those films.

I have slowly been collecting Margheriti's films on DVD and blu ray as well as downloading files where commercial copies are not available, so I hope to be able to build this blog into a resource of informative and vaguely scholarly analysis of his work, including, where possible, the films he worked on in other capacities, such as his special effects or writing credits. It could potentially take me years to get through them all, which is both daunting and exciting. By writing this first post I have committed myself to the task, and I look forward to getting stuck in.

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Lightning Bolt (1966)