5.8/10
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28 user 22 critic

Aria (1987)

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3:16 | Trailer
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:

Robert Altman (segment), Bruce Beresford (segment) | 8 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

Italian | French | German | English

Release Date:

30 October 1987 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Aria See more »

Filming Locations:

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,580, 20 March 1988

Gross USA:

$1,028,679

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,028,679
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During one vignette, Buck Henry is talking on a pay phone to "Woody", trying to interest him in participating in a movie called "Aria". He mentions that "Fellini" is also directing a segment. Filmmakers Woody Allen and Federico Fellini at one time were both attached to the project, but ended up not participating due to various conflicts. See more »

Quotes

Jeune Fille: [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.
Jeune Fille: O how I'd love to hate him.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Vesti la giubba
from "Pagliacci"
Music by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Sung by Enrico Caruso
Baritone voice by Fernand Dumont
segment "I Pagliacci"
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Much better than I was lead to believe
20 July 2001 | by zetesSee 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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