Art & Photography Books:

The Delicate War

Knowing in oneself the angel from the beast through the films of Dario Argento
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Paperback / softback
The Delicate War by Gino C Mongelli

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The Delicate War: Knowing in oneself the angel from the beast through the films of Dario Argento is the story of inner balance, the extinguishment of violence and growth of worldview using an introspective artist-mystic life approach, told through film analysis. It is structured on psychological, mythological and mystical interpretations of the works of Dario Argento and others in order to take a penetrating look at ourselves, to identify ways we go wrong in life, and to point to solutions through consciousness practices, psychology-based introspection, philosophical understanding, etc. as well as through the creation of a life on a path of meaning which requires a complementarity of ways of knowing and being. It constitutes a movement on a path from hell to paradise, repeating the steps of Dante's pilgrim in the Divine Comedy.The Delicate War is to those wondering what all of this is about, what we are underneath the surface, and it does this through in-depth investigation of the themes found in Argento's filmography. The entire aim was to create a book that looks at the subtleties of human violence and good in so serious a way as to attempt to reduce the violence and create more good in the world through honest self-reflection. The book takes a rubber-meets-the-road approach in bringing what is typically only "theoretical" film analysis into the "practical" work of self-transformation through art.Argento's films are art terror-rides through ourselves. His heroes, like us, are flawed, weak and confused. They are thrust into a strange new world through a meeting with a killer, through which we explore the violence we perpetrate on ourselves and each other. What kind of world is it that they enter, and will they be able to make it through unscathed? This shock of the encounter with the new world is the shock accompanying every time we are forced to confront some unknown thrust out of the chaotic vortex into our rut-worn lives. These are the types of parallels in his films the book delves into, not as academic discussion but as introspective human exploration, and Argento's films engage with many themes that aid in that exploration.The span covered by The Delicate War is vast. The darkness and the light within us are brought out through themes including the Jungian shadow, transpersonal psychology, states of higher consciousness, the art-life approach to sudden self-transformation and the great sublime. The book is structured to introduce simple concepts and then to build on them in subsequent sections and chapters, moving towards elucidations of more breadth and depth, each one a piece of a singular worldview.The Delicate War was heavily researched, citing over 400 sources, and written over a span of five years. Incorporated are the ideas of, among many others, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, R.D. Laing, George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, Grant Morrison, Choegyam Trungpa, Ken Wilber, Stanislav Grof, Friedrich Nietzsche, Friedrich Schiller, Joseph Campbell, Mircea Eliade, Slavoj Zizek, Jordan B. Peterson, Bruno Bettelheim and Ilya Prigogine. The book should find readers among the legion of Argento fans worldwide, being a book for film buffs, but it should also find readers interested in popular film analysis, theory and criticism, psychology, Eastern and Western philosophy, self-help and development, consciousness practices and more.
Release date NZ
September 6th, 2019
  • General (US: Trade)
Independently Published
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