Variety - 05/27/1987
"...Exhilaratingly successful....[The] costumes, staging and locations are worthy of any great opera production and the sound quality is loud and clear and crisp..."
Producer Don Boyd brought together 10 of the world's most revered directors in order to pay homage to the opera with this episodic feature. Each director was asked to choose an aria from an operatic work and create a short film inspired by the emotions and intensity of the music rather than merely re-creating the opera itself. True to form, the result is a bizarre, moving, and broad work of entertainment. Standouts include Charles Sturridge's haunting LA VIRGINE DEGLI ANGELI, which follows a group of adolescents who steal a car and meet an early demise; Jean-Luc Godard's ARMIDE, an abstract visual tour de force that incorporates nude females floating around bodybuilders in midworkout; Franc Roddam's somber LIEBESTOD, which watches a young couple spending one last night in a Las Vegas hotel room; Derek Jarman's nostalgic DEPUIS LE JOUR, a moving ode to a life well lived; and Ken Russell's stimulating NESSUN DORMA, which breathes fresh life into the moment just before one dies. The directors use the works of their chosen composer--including Giuseppe Verdi, Richard Wagner, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Erich Korngold, Jean Philippe Rameau, Giacomo Puccini, Gustave Charpentier, and Ruggiero Leoncavallo--to tell stories about life, love, and loss as they feel it on a personal level, making ARIA more than just a sheer exercise in style.
This avant-garde, often comic compilation film features 10 renowned directors' short interpretations of arias from operas by Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, and others.
Classical Music |
Musicals / Music Videos |
Theatrical release: July 1988.
Nicolas Roeg's UN BALLO IN MASCHERA was filmed on location in Vienna and London; Charles Sturridge's LA VIRGINE DEGLI ANGELI in North London; Jean-Luc Godard's ARMIDE in Paris; Julien Temple's RIGOLETTO at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California; Bruce Beresford's DIE TOTE STADT in Windsor, England; Robert Altman's LES BORÉADES in Paris; Franc Roddam's LIEBESTOD in Las Vegas and Cameron, Arizona; Ken Russell's NESSUN DORMA in London; Derek Jarman's DEPUIS LE JOUR in Scotland and London; Bill Bryden's I PAGLIACCI in Cremora, Italy.
Directors were instructed not to have their films act out the narrative of the opera arias but to create something different from the emotionality of the movies.
Bridget Fonda made her big screen debut with ARIA.