Warped & Faded: Weird Wednesday and the Birth of AGFA

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

Opens Dec 8, 2021

In honor of two decades of anarchic preservation, we present a selection of films that lit a fire — lovingly restored by the American Genre Film Archive themselves.

In 1970, young debut director Dario Argento (Deep Red, Suspiria) indelibly redefined the Italian Giallo genre of black-gloved murder-mystery thrillers with The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, catapulting him to international stardom.

Sam, an American writer living in Rome witnesses a brutal attack on a woman in a modern art gallery. Powerless to help, he grows increasingly obsessed with the incident. Convinced he saw something that night that holds the key to identifying a maniac terrorizing Rome, Sam launches his own investigation parallel to that of the police, heedless of the danger to him and his girlfriend.

A staggeringly assured first feature, Crystal Plumage establishes the key traits that defines Argento's filmography, including lavish visuals and a flare for wildly inventive scenes of violence. With sumptuous cinematography by Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now) and a seductive Ennio Morricone score, this landmark Giallo has never looked or sounded better in this new, 4K-restored edition.

"Reflects an elegant, enterprising sensibility much given to fabricating sequins from non sequiturs."
– New York Times

"Its scares are on a much more basic level than, say, a thriller by Hitchcock. It works by exploiting our fear of the dark."
– Roger Ebert

Restoration courtesy of Arrow Films and the American Genre Film Archive.