Don’t get mad, but until now I’d never seen Dario Argento’s OPERA. It comes after a run of his best and/or most famous movies: DEEP RED, SUSPIRIA, INFERNO, TENEBRE and PHENOMENA, and I can finally confirm that it belongs in that company. Though it doesn’t reach the feverish intensity of his very best, it’s cool to see Argento get access to a higher level of production value. This takes place mostly in a real opera house with a full opera production, orchestra, behind-the-scenes crew and audience, and cinematographer Ronnie Taylor (Academy Award winner for GANDHI!) takes Argento’s fanciful camerawork up a couple levels.
The ambition is clear in the opening scene, when obnoxious (and unseen to us) opera diva Mara Cecova throws a fit at Marco (Ian Charleson, CHARIOTS OF FIRE, GANDHI), visionary director of the Julie-Taymor/HIGHLANDER-II-ish stylized production of Verdi’s Macbeth she’s starring in, and storms out. The camera seems to represent her point-of-view, with everyone looking at her as she has her tirade, but if so then I guess she floats off the stage into the crowd and then walks out backwards? It’s confusing… and totally impressive and captivating. (read the rest of this shit…)