Italian Film Festival

The Fifth Cord / Giornata nera per l’Ariete

Info: Italy, 1971, 92 mins, DCP

Language: Italian with English Subtitles

Director: Luigi Bazzoni

Cast: Franco Nero


  • Saturday January 4, 2020 - 9:15 pm

The second in our mini series of classic giallo is the most obscure, but also perhaps the revelation of the trio: wtih stunning cinematography by Vittorio Storaro (hot off his work on Bertolucci’s The Conformist), and a typically assertive score by maestro Ennio Morricone, you can be sure that The Fifth Cord competes with Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace and Dario Argento’s Tenebrae as a sumptuous aesthetic experience.

When a man barely survives a brutal assault en route home from a New Year’s party, washed-up, whisky-swilling journalist Franco Nero (Django) is assigned to the case. Before long, the maniac strikes again, this time with fatal results. As the body count rises, Nero is under suspicion himself, making it even more imperative that he crack the case. His only clue: black gloves found at the location of every attack, each with a finger cut off…

The success of Argento’s The Bird With the Crystal Plumage ushered in a wave of new, modern takes on the giallo thriller. Some rose above the crowd thanks to skillful execution and stylistic experimentation. Case in point: The Fifth Cord, which, in the hands of director Luigi Bazzoni (Le Orme, The Possessed), turns a conventional premise into a visually stunning exploration of alienation and isolation.

Our mini Gialli series also includes Blood and Black Lace (Friday and Wednesday), and Tenebrae (Sunday).