MTV Opera | Good Rep | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
Loading...

MTV Opera 

Slick and sly, Diva returns to the spotlight

Wednesday, Nov 28 2007
Comments

In the spring of 1981, Jean-Jacques Beineix unveiled his debut film in Paris: a brash, snazzy thriller about the infatuation of a sullen young deliveryman (Frédéric Andréi) with a reclusive opera diva (Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez), the bootleg he makes at one of her performances, and the dizzy dilemmas that ensue. Diva contrived a new sensibility that came to be known as “cinéma du look,” a Franglais label for the micro-movement of superstylish, unabashedly romantic pictures made throughout the ’80s. “The reviews were horrible,” Beineix recalls in the press notes for the 25th-anniversary re-release. Lingering in theaters a full year after its premiere, Diva gradually became a hometown hit; by the time it opened in New York, it was a phenomenon. A quarter of a century later, a glut of übergroovy meta-thrillers has blunted the novelty, but Diva’s still a kick. The breezy, harebrained plot spins out from a mix-up over a pair of audiotapes: the opera bootleg made by Jules (Andrei) and the one he discovers in a side pocket of his scooter, stashed there by a prostitute before she was killed for its contents — testimony that implicates a police chief in a white-slavery ring. The chief dispatches a pair of ineffectual cops to investigate the dead hooker, and a goofy thug duo to retrieve the tape. And Beineix keeps going, fearless and foolish, piling extravagance upon extravagance. (Nuart)

—Nathan Lee

Related Stories

  • Dating Through DNA

    The prospect of finding a mate through DNA testing seems a little agrarian to us. Compatible DNA? What if you end up with a long, lost cousin? Well, the fascinating thing about Singldout's use of DNA testing for its matchmaking service is that opposites attract, especially when it comes to...
  • Foxygen's Sam France: "We Were Never Gonna Break Up"

    Sam France doesn't want to talk about any “rebound record.” “It’s not a rebound. Stuff was never that bad.” France doesn't sound particularly hostile, or even mildly annoyed. If anything, he sounds like a teenager explaining to the teacher why his homework isn't done. “We both were young, certainly,” he...
  • David Lebovitz's Latest

    David Lebovitz has the kind of life any foodist would aspire to. Ten years ago, after a long career in the kitchen at San Francisco's Chez Panisse, he up and moved to Paris. And now, with one of the top food blogs on the web and a pile of books under his belt,...
  • All Star Chef Classic Returns: Tickets on Sale Today

    This year, L.A.'s lineup of swanky food events got a newbie in the All Star Chef's Classic, a four day series of dinners, tasting events and a kid's cooking class. This coming March, the event returns to L.A. Live, and tickets are on sale today.  The event, which is put...
  • Petit Trois Opens

    Petit Trois, the long-awaited space next door to Trois Mec, will open tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Owned and operated by the Trois Mec team — Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo — Petit Trois aims to offer  Bar a la Carte, described as the traditional French bar experience.  "I...
Reach the writer at nathanleewhat@gmail.com

Related Content

Now Showing

  1. Wed 17
  2. Thu 18
  3. Fri 19
  4. Sat 20
  5. Sun 21
  6. Mon 22
  7. Tue 23

    Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

Box Office Report

Scores provided by Rotten Tomatoes

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, concert and dining info & more!

Now Trending