Sexy, audacious, thought-provoking and funny: these are all good things, right? And that’s what we get from Aria. In 1987, ten of the world’s most creative and celebrated directors were each given the same brief: to choose a piece of opera music and then present a visual interpretation of that music with complete artistic freedom. The result: ten short pieces directed by ten different filmmakers, each interpreting a particular an aria (Vivaldi, Bach, Wagner). These are freewheeling interpretations so if you are looking for something traditional, you might be disappointed. But if you’re OK with sexy, audacious, thought-provoking and funny, well, then, this just might be your cup of tea.
The 10 filmmakers are Robert Altman, Bruce Beresford, Bill Bryden, Jean Luc Godard, Derek Jarman, Franc Roddam, Nicolas Roeg, Ken Russell, Charles Sturridge, and Julien Temple. Going back to the original 35mm internegative, the film has now been painstakingly restored and transferred to a widescreen HD master. Music was sourced from the massive RCA Red Seal catalog; the score features some of the world’s best opera singers.
Aria includes Bridget Fonda’s electrifying film debut, a breathtaking performance from Elizabeth Hurley, as well as performances by Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, and Theresa Russell as the trigger-happy King Zog of Albania.