Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Quelle belle vie!

I don't know if you ever saw this film Aria, I think curated (if that's the right word) by Ken Russell...most of it I recall as schlocky or tiresomely provocative, demonstrating no perceptible understanding of what we love about opera and how it would look if the little stage we each have in our head were projected outward, but this one segment popped into my head this evening for no reason I can figure. I find it exquisite. Hope you do, too. And yeah, that's pre-famous Tilda Swinton. Vocals by Madame Price.

7 comments:

jondrytay said...
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armerjacquino said...

^^^ sorry, that was me. Hit return too soon ^^^

Anyway- Jarman's an interesting one. He made some truly terrible films (I remember sitting in the Arts Cinema in Cambridge crying with laughter at his take on Edward II) but was also capable of work like this, for which your word 'exquisite' is the only description. Is there something odd in the mastering of the vocal, though? Price sounds- soubrettish.

Am I on crack or was Liz Hurley not in 'Aria' somewhere?

R. said...

I saw this film a long time ago and only remember the Liebestod in the bathtub. Should watch it again. Schlock, schschlock (hmm, that doesn't work, does it?).

Lisa Hirsch said...

That's L. Price singing the Liebestod too!

I saw this around when it came out; I remember who I saw it with, too - someone I haven't seen in 20 or more years. (But he has a distinctive name, which came up when Googled!)

Anonymous Soprano said...

Meh. I must be feeling maudlin or something today, because that made me a little teary.

Anonymous Soprano said...

Speaking of things that involve Derek Jarman, have you seen Jarman's movie of Britten's War Requiem? I've heard it's supposed to be just staggeringly amazing (assuming, of course, one likes Britten), but even the not-big-fans-of-Britten have been saying good things about it.

Will said...

I rented Aria years ago. It's all over the place but some things were really wonderful. I get a date of 1987 on it when googled. In some ways it presages the current style of opera production in this country (already established by then in Europe) that many object to.

I think that in '87, however, the idea was more to do something like the rock videos on MTV. Those early MTV videos were creative, surreal, visually arresting--and have been credited by a number of American directors as a major influence on their style.

As to armerjacquino's comment on Price in the Louise aria, I suspect it's very early Price when everything was high, golden shimmer and the darker colors that came later were not yet part of her sound. I could be wrong, but I was struck by the lightness and ease of everything in that aria.