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The New Edition of the Definitive Dario Argento Book is Now Available!

Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento was the first definitive biography and film analysis of the master director whose baroque and visually sumptuous work marked the height of European horror and of that oh-so-Italian style of suspense thriller known as gialli. Original copies of the 1991 hardcover from Sun Tavern Fields sell for upwards of $120 on eBay. Citadel Press' 1994 updated edition — which Clive Barker declared "the cornerstone of all subsequent Argento studies" — is almost equally hard to find.

And now horror fans and others can have for themselves the newly updated third edition! Expanded with dozens of new pages, it takes readers through all of Argento's films up to 2009's self-referential Giallo — and includes Maitland McDonagh's incisive look at Mother of Tears, the Grand Guignol grand finale of Argento's "Mother" trilogy. The first two editions were lauded by publications ranging from Variety to Video Watchdog, with McDonagh's enlightening and entertaining study called "a remarkable and exciting work" (Paper), "the definitive text on Argento's films and excesses" (Variety) and "a reason to celebrate for serious horror fans" (Psychotronic). James Marriott in Black Star Review called it "one of the most insightful treatises on modern horror cinema ever written."

The 2010 revised and updated edition from University of Minnesota Press is available April. Or, you can pre-order it at Amazon.


Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds on Facebook

Maitland has created a Facebook page devoted to the revised and expanded edition of Broken MIrrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento -- please take a look!


Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: Online Press

Here's a round up of online Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds coverage:

Slant Magazine
... "McDonagh diligently argues [that] Argento's movies fixate on highly elusive and surprisingly intricate... crisscrossing images, clashing aesthetics, and implausible plots."

Horror Squad
... "While I personally don't agree with every observation... in McDonagh's original book, there's no doubt I'll be grabbing a copy of this new version when it's published later this month."

Dr. Gore's Funhouse (interview)
... "McDonagh's cerebral book is regarded as the cornerstone of all Argento studies, and with the latest edition [she] brings everything bang up to date."


Horror Drive-In
... "Many erudite film lovers are captivated by [Argento's] work. None, however, have been more intelligent or perceptive than Maitland McDonagh."

..."One of the gems of this book is the author’s description of the beginning of her love affair with Argento’s work... in what she describes as the 'international smorgasbord of sleaze' that was Times Square in the mid-‘70s."


Film Threat (interview)
... "McDonagh, [who] has authored four books and has been one of the most recognized film critics in the US media... [has] kept returning to Argento’s work over the past 25 years."

... "Back in 1990, author and film critic (and Fango contributor) Maitland McDonagh first published [her] in-depth study of the Italian maestro of horror cinema. Now she’s let us know that an expanded and updated version of the book is on the way."

Maitland McDonagh 2.jpg

About Maitland

Maitland McDonagh published her first movie article, "The Ambiguities of Seeing and Knowing in Michael Powell's Peeping Tom," in Film Psychology Review in 1980, while still an undergraduate at Hunter College. Since then, she's written four books:

  • Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento (2010, 1994, 1991)

  • Movie Lust: Recommended Viewing for Every Mood, Moment and Reason (2006)

  • The 50 Most Erotic Films of All Time (1996)

  • Filmmaking on the Fringe: The Good, the Bad and the Deviant Directors (1995)

    She has contributed to a half-dozen others, including The Last Great American Picture Show: New Hollywood Cinema in the 1970s (1995, 2005), Zombie (1999) and Exile Cinema: Filmmakers at Work Beyond Hollywood.

    McDonagh speaks at film festivals and serves on juries, writes DVD liner notes and essays (including an appreciation of Boris Karloff for the Criterion Collection's Monsters and Madmen box set), appears in documentaries, including Bravo's perennial 100 Scariest Movie Moments, and has taught film history/theory/criticism at Hunter College and Brooklyn College. Her articles have appeared in publications ranging from Film Comment to The New York Times, and she written thousands of movie reviews for a wide variety of outlets, including her own site, MissFlickChick.

    Maitland McDonagh at Wikipedia...