RIP Daria Nicolodi

Actress and screenwriter Daria Nicolodi has died at the age of 70. Her death, on 26th November, was announced by her daughter, Asia Argento. 

Nicolodi was born in Florence, 1950, and made her film debut in the 1970 war film Uomini contro (Many Wars Ago) playing a Red Cross nurse. She came to fame in 1975 when she was cast as savvy investigative reporter Gianna Brezzi, in Dario Argento's classic giallo, Profondo rosso (Deep Red). This role would be hugely impactful, not only upon her career, but also her personal life, as she and Argento soon began a relationship and had a child together (Asia). 

Nicolodi was integral in the conception of Argento's next film Suspiria (1977), which she co-wrote. A dark and violent fairy tale horror, Suspiria tells of a young ballet student who discovers the academy where she has enrolled is home to a coven of evil witches. Nicolodi had been inspired by tales of witches and black magic told to her by her grandmother, who claimed to have had experiences with the occult at a music academy. Nicolodi and Argento collaborated again on Inferno (1980), the follow up to Suspiria, in which a young musician searching for his missing poet sister becomes embroiled in the diabolical schemes of a powerful witch who secretly resides in his sister's New York apartment building. Nicolodi also starred in the film, but was uncredited for the story idea. 

Throughout the 70s and 80s, Nicolodi would star in various horror films and gialli, including Delirium aka Photos of Gioia (1987), Mario Bava's final film, Shock (1977) and the Argento classics Tenebrae (1982), Phenomena (1985) and Opera (1987). She was also directed by her daughter Asia in Scarlet Diva (2000) and in 2007 would reunite with Dario and Asia to film the concluding chapter of the Three Mothers Trilogy, Mother of Tears, a very different film to its predecessors (Suspiria and Inferno). One can't but feel this was perhaps because it lacked any sort of creative input or guidance from Nicolodi. 

Daria, with daughter Asia

Nicolodi also wrote the cult favourites Paganini Horror (1989) and The Black Cat (1989), both of which were directed by Luigi Cozzi. The former is the tale of a rock band who inadvertently open a doorway to hell when they record a piece of music rumoured to be the last piece composed by Paganini after he sold his soul to the devil. The latter was Nicolodi's deconstruction of Argento's (then) uncompleted Three Mothers trilogy and serves as something of an unofficial meta-sequel/conclusion. It tells of the production of a horror film based on the same source material as Suspiria and Inferno. As filming commences, the evil witch the story is based upon begins to manifest and terrorise the actress set to portray her on screen. 

Asia Argento posted the following to her Instagram account: “Rest in peace beloved mother. Now you can fly free with your great spirit and you won’t have to suffer anymore. I will try to go on for your beloved grandchildren and especially for you who would never want to see me so grieved. Even if without you I miss the ground under my feet, and I feel I have lost my only true point of reference. I am close to all those who have known and loved her. I will always be your Aria, Daria.” 

RIP Daria x


Richard of DM said…
Excellent tribute, sir.

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