Aria

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  • Drama, Experimental, Music , produced in 1987 UK
  • Actors: Theresa Russell, John Hurt
  • Directed by: Robert Altman, Bruce Beresford, Jean-Luc Godard, Derek Jarman, Franc Roddam, Nicolas Roeg, Ken Russell, Charles Sturridge, Julien Temple, Bill Bryden
  • Rating: 5.6 out of 10
  • Plot Summary: 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.
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