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 »

Writers:

(segment), (segment) | 8 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A mogul merrily funds terrorists to boost his computer sales, by panicking West German government and industry c. 1980, as the third generation of Western European left-wing activists forms... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Eddie Constantine, Hanna Schygulla, Volker Spengler
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Set in France Oscar Wilde (so it appears) visits a local theatre and is surprised by their retelling of his own work ""Salome'" the story line then digresses in to a VERY twisted portrayal ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Glenda Jackson, Stratford Johns, Nickolas Grace
The Rainbow (1989)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young woman deals in her own personal way with the trials of adolescence and young adulthood in early 1900s England.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Sammi Davis, Amanda Donohoe, Paul McGann
Othello (1995)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Moorish general Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his lieutenant Michael Cassio when in reality it is all part of the scheme of a bitter ensign named Iago.

Director: Oliver Parker
Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Kenneth Branagh, Irène Jacob
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Biographical film of the life of French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Dorothy Tutin, Scott Antony, Helen Mirren
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Ivan Bibic returns to his Pittsburgh PA suburb after surviving a Japanse POW camp, causing regular nightmares. All the time he remained faithfully devoted to his childhood love, fellow ... See full summary »

Director: Andrey Konchalovskiy
Stars: Nastassja Kinski, John Savage, Keith Carradine
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The familiar tragic story of Vincent van Gogh is broadened by focusing as well on his brother Theodore, who helped support Vincent. The movie also provides a nice view of the locations which Vincent painted.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Tim Roth, Paul Rhys, Adrian Brine
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Both the parents of a young teen who walks with crutches, goes on each their secret meeting with lovers, both surprising each other at the family's county home. The daughter arrives and initiates a guessing game of "Chinese roulette".

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Anna Karina, Margit Carstensen, Brigitte Mira
Mahler (1974)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Composer Gustav Mahler's life, told in a series of flashbacks as he and his wife discuss their failing marriage during a train journey.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Robert Powell, Georgina Hale, Lee Montague
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A mysterious woman, fashion designer by day, prostitute by night, and accused of murder, is hounded by two men: a married father of two, and a sexually repressed preacher.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Kathleen Turner, Anthony Perkins, Bruce Davison
Switch (1991)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Steve Brooks is a sexist and the prototype macho. Unfortunately one day he is killed by one of his girlfriends. In heaven, though, there is no place for men like him and he is sent back to ... See full summary »

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Ellen Barkin, Jimmy Smits, JoBeth Williams
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Scottish archaeologist Angus Flint discovers an odd skull amid the ruins of a convent that he is excavating. Shortly thereafter, Lady Sylvia Marsh returns to Temple House, a nearby mansion,... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant, Catherine Oxenberg
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
King Zog (segment "Un ballo in maschera")
...
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")
...
Les Jeunes Filles (segment "Armide")
...
Les Jeunes Filles (segment "Armide")
Edit

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:

Ten great directors. One unforgettable film. The most sensual experience you'll ever have in a movie theater. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Woody Allen declined when he was approached to direct a part of this film due to schedule problems. 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.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Depuis le jour
from "Louise"
Music by Gustave Charpentier
Performed by Leontyne Price with RCA Italiana Orchestra
Conducted by Francesco Molinari Pradelli (as Francesco Molinari-Pradelli)
segment "Depuis Le Jour"
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Some of it is extraordinary, some of it is awful
25 December 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's interesting to see what different directors will do when they are told, "make a short film based upon a famous opera." It's like looking through someone's garbage...you really get a sense for who they are.

Based upon what I've seen here, here's what I think about each director and their segment:

Nicolas Roeg - Always an experimental guy, but, by nature, experiments often fail. Such is the case with Roeg's segment, which perplexingly casts his wife Thresa Russell as a (male) fascist ruler about to be assassinated. I have no idea what he was thinking, but the segment doesn't work at all.

Charles Sturridge - This guy must have major skeletons in his closet. It's the story of three children, sadly watching a replay of themselves being killed in a car accident on TV, the result of taking their parents' car out for an ill-advised drive. It's a beautiful, intensely sad sequence, one of the best in the movie.

Jean-Luc Godard - Never known for being subtle. This is the WORST of the movies. If you can't figure out that it's about sexual frustration, go live in a cave. It takes something truly special to make two gorgeous women parading around naked to be so mind-numbingly boring.

Julien Temple - Mainstream director somehow having backed into the arthouse scene. This entertaining bit of absurdity plays like an elaborate Saturday Night Live sketch, with a husband and wife out cheating on each other at the same hotel. It's funny and sexy, and surprisingly at home with the more cerebral segments.

Bruce Beresford - Great respect of love, sex and sensuality. Pleasant enough, basically the story of a woman (Elizabeth Hurley) giving herself to her lover for the first time. Nice buns on Elizabeth, but it's a wonderful little sequence regardless. Gorgous photograaphy.

Robert Altman - Tell this guy to do whatever he wants, and he'll be at a loss as to what he wants to do. Utterly pointless, boring and irritating short about the inmates of an asylum sitting in a theatre awaiting the night's performance. Nothing but a series of swooping camera shots and people acting crazy. Really bad.

Franc Roddam - Pessimistic and cynical, especially when it comes to love. Beautifully shot sequence about two young lovers who travel to Las Vegas to have one last night together before committing suicide. Subtly gives us hints as to why they do what they do (life is a pointless series of tragedies which leads up to old age), which makes the sequence all the more heart-breaking. Bridget Fonda's film debut, and it seems she was pretty enthusiastic about taking off her clothes right off the bat. Nothing wrong with that!

Ken Russell - Seems to have known most segments would be deadly serious and pretentious, so decided just to goof off. Russell fans will love this sequence, others will probably just be bewildered. Nothing to read into here, a woman is on the operating table after being in a car accident, and has hallucinations about being adorned with jewels as opposed to being stitched back together. Well shot and genuinely imaginative.

Derek Jarman - Simplicity is the key. An old woman thanks happy thoughts of her younger days as an actress. That's it. Simple, charming, moving.

Bill Bryden - Let's hear it for the has-been. A dying actor (John Hurt) performs the famous opera from Pagliacci (the sad clown) to an empty theater, after which he drops dead. It's a brutally sad sequence about the devastation a performer feels after they have been forgotten by the public.

Overall, it's an interesting movie. The girls' bare bottoms and guys' ripped pecs of Godard's sequence will help both men and women get through it, but Roeg's and Altman's misfires will have you reaching for the fast-forward button.


25 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?