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A young opera singer (Betty) gets her big chance when the previous star of a production of Verdi's Macbeth is run over by a car. Convinced the opera is bad luck she accepts, and becomes the target (in Argento's unmistakable style) of a psychopath - a man she has been dreaming of since childhood. Written by
David Carroll <email@example.com>
There has frequently been controversy about the film's aspect ratio since it was shot in the Super 35 process and released both in 2,35:1 and 1,85:1 on DVD with the general conclusion being that 2,35:1 was the ratio intended by Dario Argento since he had the film shown that way on various festivals and obviously chose to use Super 35 himself for this film. See more »
During the chase in Betty's apartment, as the killer runs POV through the house the camera tilts back and forth showing for a brief second the top of the set in Betty's room and the space above it. Also, while exiting the bedroom, lighting equipment is visible on the left side of the frame. See more »
Although many have mixed feelings about this latter day giallo thriller from Argento, it still stands as another lavish testament to the cinematic brilliance that is Argento.
A young opera singer has her first break out performance and suddenly finds herself the subject of obsession for a crazed maniac.
In a way, Opera is like a modern-day giallo take on Phantom of the Opera blended with all the glorious style and color that one would expect Dario Argento to deliver. Argento makes terrific use of inventive camera techniques, reoccurring symbols (like those ravens!), Gothic atmosphere, and truly gruesome murder sequences. One scene especially (which involves a peep hole and a gun) will knock viewers right out of their seats! Story-wise the film also manages to be gripping with some strong suspense and given great atmosphere by Claudio Simonetti's gorgeous music score.
The cast does some satisfying performances. Cristina Marsillach is good as our leading lady. The late Ian Charleson does a nice turn as the director, as does Urbano Barberini as an investigator, Daria Nicolodi as Marsillach's agent, and William McNamara as Marsillach's ill-fated lover.
Opera is terrific latter day Argento, and perhaps the last of his great works. It's sure to please his fans and even create some new ones.
**** out of ****
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