Thirty years in the making, the launch of Dario Argento's The Mother Of Tears finally closes the door on The Three Mothers trilogy of cult horror films that began with Argento's Suspiria in 1977 and Inferno in 1982.
"I feel relief but also sadness," Argento says of the film, which has its world premiere in Toronto's Midnight Madness section next week. "There's no other episode for the fantastic world I invented, and I am sorry about that."
Produced by Medusa and Myriad Pictures (with the latter handling international sales), the film tells the story of a student who unleashes the force of a powerful witch.
"I gave it all I've got," says Argento, who co-wrote the film with Adam Gierasch and Jace Anderson. "I put in all my force and energy. I wanted to recount good and evil for what it is. Evil is something terrible - it has no shame."
The film also saw the director work with his daughter, Asia, for the fourth time.
Argento says he found a new level of expression with The Mother Of Tears, paying credit to Showtime's Masters Of Horror series for which he recently directed episodes Jenifer and Pelts. "In Italy I was censored a lot and in America they gave me more liberty. Unconsciously, I had been censoring myself."
The city of Rome features prominently in the film, and Turin, famous for its art deco architecture, is also vital.
"The stairways, the palaces are fascinating and bizarre," Argento says.
What drove him to complete the 30-year-old project boiled down to two things. The first is a simple, enduring passion for film."It's a love for movies - old, silent, new, marvellous. You don't make films for money, you make them for the desire to tell stories."
The second reason is perhaps more complicated. "I'm not sure, but maybe I know how to get close to my dark side. I can (enter into a) dialogue with my perverse and bad aspects. And when I understood that, I began to write these stories."
- Toronto buzz, p18-21
DARIO ARGENTO'S CULTURAL LIFE
Books: I've recently been immersed in Gnostic texts.
Films: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's The Lives Of Others.
Newspapers and magazines: I read everything, excluding right-wing publications.
Websites: I prefer museums.
Where do you find the inspiration for your work' An idea just comes to me, like the wind, when I am driving or falling asleep. I only have to be sure to remember it.