Aria (1987)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  July 1988 (USA)
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Reviews: 24 user | 17 critic

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 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")
Chris Hunter ...
Assassin (segment "Un ballo in maschera")
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")
Valérie Allain ...
Les Jeunes Filles (segment "Armide")


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A superbly sensual experience See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music


R | See all certifications »




| | |

Release Date:

July 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ária  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,028,679 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Orson Welles agreed to direct one segment and asked for a contract to be sent to him in Los Angeles. Welles died before signing the contract, which had been sent, according to producer Don Boyd, to an address which turned out to be that of the funeral parlor in which he was laid out. Boyd is still unsure whether this was Welles' final joke. See more »


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.
See more »


Jouissons, jouissons ! Jouissons de nos beaux ans
from "Les Boréades (Acte 3, Scène III)"
Music by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Libretto by Louis de Cahusac (uncredited)
Performed by John Aler (uncredited) (credited Jennifer Smith, Anne-Marie Rodde, but their part were not used in this) with Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists
Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner
segment "Les Boreades"
See more »

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User Reviews

10 Segments -- Brilliant to Fair
30 November 2002 | by (Narrowsburg, NY) – See all my reviews

Definitely worth watching.

Ten different directors each present a segment based on their favorite opera aria. You don't need to be an opera lover to watch this film. (Although, of course, if you hate opera, you're really going to have a bad time with this!)

Not surprisingly the segments range from brilliant to only fair. Most of the fuss seems to be over Godard's contribution -- whether you think he's brilliant or pretentious, his segment won't change your mind.

Some of the pieces have a clear narrative; others are more a montage of connected images.

None of the pieces is more than 10 minutes or so; if you're not happy with what's on the screen, wait for the next segment, and think about how much culture you're soaking up.

Keep your eyes open for performances by Buck Henry, Beverly D'Angelo, Elizabeth Hurley, Briget Fonda, Tilda Swinton, and John Hurt. (The Buck Henry segment alone is worth the price of admission).

9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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