Aria

Ten directors, ten arias. Don Boyd's opera omnibus was bound to be hit-and-miss. Bryden's linking passages, and the Sturridge and Beresford sections, miss; Jarman's and Temple's are largely about Super 8 and Steadicam respectively. Roddam's Tristan and Isolde, like Temple's Rigoletto, is the work of a Brit thrilled by the neon tackiness of America, and determinedly candid in its sex and violence. Russell's Turandot comes on like a decorative episode of the The Twilight Zone. The Godard undoubtedly makes the most waves, being far out and featuring bodybuilders and nubile cleaning ladies: infuriatingly preposterous or light years ahead, its use of sound is astonishingly effective. Roeg's marvellous opener will stir memories of The Eagle Has Two Heads, The Third Man, and most things Ruritanian down Zenda way. Altman's typically bold decision to film the response, to a performed aria, of an audience of Hogarthian bedlamites, provides a mesmerising parallel activity which fans of Free Jazz drumming will find no difficulty in following.

Release details

Duration: 89 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Nicolas Roeg, Charles Sturridge, Jean-Luc Godard, Julien Temple, Bruce Beresford, Robert Altman, Franc Roddam, Ken Russell, Derek Jarman, Bill Bryden
Screenwriter: Nicolas Roeg, Charles Sturridge, Julien Temple, Bruce Beresford, Robert Altman, Franc Roddam, Ken Russell, Derek Jarman, Bill Bryden, Don Boyd
Cast: John Hurt
Theresa Russell
Julie Hagerty
Linzi Drew
Tilda Swinton
Marion Peterson
Valerie Allain
Nicola Swain
Peter Birch
Bridget Fonda
Sophie Ward
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