Ten short pieces directed by ten different directors, including Ken Russell, Jean-Luc Godard, Robert Altman, Bruce Beresford, and Nicolas Roeg. Each short uses an aria as soundtrack/sound (... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
King Zog (segment "Un ballo in maschera")
Stephanie Lane ...
Baroness (segment "Un ballo in maschera")
Roy Hyatt ...
Chauffeur (segment "Un ballo in maschera")
Sevilla Delofski ...
Maid (segment "Un ballo in maschera")
Ruth Halliday ...
Companion (segment "Un ballo in maschera")
Arthur Cox ...
Major (segment "Un ballo in maschera")
Dennis Holmes ...
Colonel (segment "Un ballo in maschera")
Paul Brightwell ...
Assassin (segment "Un ballo in maschera")
Frank Baker ...
Assassin (segment "Un ballo in maschera")
Christopher Hunter ...
Assassin (segment "Un ballo in maschera") (as Chris Hunter)
Nicola Swain ...
Marie (segment "La virgine degli angeli")
Jackson Kyle ...
Travis (segment "La virgine degli angeli")
Marianne McLoughlin ...
Kate (segment "La virgine degli angeli")
Marion Peterson ...
Les Jeunes Filles (segment "Armide")
...
Les Jeunes Filles (segment "Armide")
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Storyline

Ten short pieces directed by ten different directors, including Ken Russell, Jean-Luc Godard, Robert Altman, Bruce Beresford, and Nicolas Roeg. Each short uses an aria as soundtrack/sound (Vivaldi, Bach, Wagner), and is an interpretation of the particular aria. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A superbly sensual experience See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

30 October 1987 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Ária  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,028,679 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Federico Fellini was attached to this project in the very beginning. He worked with producer Don Boyd in Rome and only dropped out because he was ill--he was making his much delayed Intervista (1987). Like everybody else who saw "Aria", he loved various sections of the movie, particularly those of Franc Roddam and Julian Temple. See more »

Quotes

Les Jeunes Filles: [Armide segment] He looks like he's made for love. He hasn't found my eyes charming enough. He hasn't found my eyes charming enough.
Les Jeunes Filles: O how I'd love to hate him.
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Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Video Discoveries (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Nuit redoutable !... Lieu désolé
from "Les Boréades (Acte 4, Scène I, II)"
Music by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Libretto by Louis de Cahusac (uncredited)
Performed by Jean-Philippe Lafont (uncredited) Philip Langridge with Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists
Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner
segment "Les Boreades"
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User Reviews

 
Much better than I was lead to believe
20 July 2001 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Sure, it has its pretentious moments, it plays like art-house, live-action Fantasia, but it also has moments of deep beauty and humor. Omnibus films are always a problem, but I have always had a keen interest in them. I will now rate the segments individually.

Nicolas Roeg - "Un ballo in maschera" - This segment may very well spoil the film for some people, because it is absolutely the worst of the whole bunch. It is difficult to follow, mostly because it tries to adhere to a clear plot (a hackneyed one, at that). The photography is unaccomplished. The best thing about it is the bit of Lesbian homoerotica that it never does enough with. This segment made me VERY nervous about continuing. 2/10.

Charles Sturridge - "La virgine degli angeli" - an unclear segment, but it hardly matters. The film has the best cinematography of the bunch, mainly because it is in a stunning black and white. The segment is dreamlike and beautiful. 7/10.

Jean-Luc Godard - "Armide" - I chose to brave this much-maligned film for the Godard and Altman segments. With Godard, I was much more impressed than I thought I would be. I can't claim to have seen all that many of his films since he made so many that almost no one has seen, but, judging from what I have seen, this may be his best work since the 60s. It is the funniest segment in this film, and the most artistically accomplished. Bravo, Jean-Luc! 9/10.

Julien Temple - "Rigoletto" - a very funny segment, it is also quite predictable. Still, this story about a husband and wife who are cheating on each other at the same resort is wonderfully filmed with long, complex tracking shots that depend on precisely timed choreography from the actors. It also has a great self-referencing joke about omnibus films themselves. The final scene is very weak. 7/10.

Bruce Beresford - "Die tote Stadt" - this short segment involves too lovers in (I think) Venice. It is pretty, with some nice shots of doves flying about the city. It is slight, but nice. 7/10.

Robert Altman - "Les Boréades" - not one of the better segments, unfortunately, this is more of a music video than a concept short film. It involves the occupants of an insane asylum attending a theatrical performance. The music and images work well together, so at least I can give it credit for being a good music video. 7/10

Franc Roddam - "Liebestod" - somewhat unfortunate for Beresford's segment, this segment is very similar to it. As you might assume from my phrasing, this one struck me much more. It is about a young man and his girl going to Las Vegas on a fatalistic voyage. 8/10.

Ken Russell - "Nessun dorma" - maybe the most visually striking segment, it plays in a fantasy world more than in reality. It is a beautiful tale of a fallen angel. 8/10.

Derek Jarman - "Depuis le jour" - I have heard a lot about Jarman, and this is the first piece of filmmaking I have seen from him. Hopefully, I'll see more in the future. This one is also music-videoish, but it is better than Altman's segement. It mainly concerns an old woman remembering her younger days. The editing and the use of different film stocks to represent both time and emotion are very beautiful. 8/10.

Bill Bryden - "I pagliacci" - the sad clown, possibly one of the most famous arias (particularly memorable from an episode of Seinfeld), this serves as the material separating each segement and the finale. It is simple and effective. 7/10.

Overall, I give it a solid 7/10. It isn't anywhere near as bad as you've heard.


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