Diva 1981 [2012]


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Diva 1981 [2012]

  1. 1. Two tapes, two Parisian mob killers, one corrupt policeman, an opera fan, a teenage thief, and the coolest philosopher ever filmed. All these characters twist their way through an intricate and stylish French language thriller. Directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix 1981
  2. 2. Wilhelmenia Fernandez Cynthia Hawkins (Diva) Frédéric Andréi Jules (mailman and opera lover)) Richard Bohringer Serge Gorodish (philosopher) Thuy An Luu Alba (teen thief and muse) Jacques Fabbri Jean Saporta (Chief Inspector) Chantal Deruaz Nadia (the prostitute victim) Anny Romand Paula (Detective) Gérard Darmon L' Antillais (Spic – corrupt Detective Dominique Pinon Le curé (corrupt detective)
  3. 3. Jean-Jacques Beineix's wonderfully stylish thriller was largely responsible for the renaissance of foreign language film in the UK in the early 80s and remains impressive viewing today. The story of Jules (Andrei), an opera-obsessed courier whose bootleg recording of a rare concert by American diva Cynthia Hawkins (Wiggins-Fernandez) is believed to be a tape connecting the chief of police with a Parisian vice ring precipitates a frantic search for its whereabouts by two murderous thugs (Dominique Pinon and Gerard Darmon).
  4. 4. Beineix's debut - from the impressively taut novel by Delacorta - is not only stunningly composed (director of photography Philippe Rousselot imbues the film with a seductive neon hue), peppered with thrills like the moped chase on the Metro, it also fair bristles with a sadistic, Dystopian tension in which heroes and villains are readily interchangeable.
  5. 5. A hybrid of genres: noir, new-wave, and fairytale romance - "Diva" has the lot yet still manages to wear its composite nature with distinct daring and élan.
  6. 6. The cast of Diva acquit themselves well, with Bohringer's charming existentialist a particular high- point. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover [1989] Richard Bohringer [the Cook] [Serge Gorodish] Richard Bohringer left Focus on Richard Bohringer
  7. 7. The cast acquit themselves adroitly, with Richard Bohringer's charming existentialist a particular high- point. [Le Fleuriste] Richard Bohringer Subway 1985 Richard Bohringer – [Pelo] Le grand chemin 1987
  8. 8. His most famous roles have been in the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Jean-Jacques Beineix. [Le Curé] in Diva [1981] Focus on Dominique Pinon [Louison] in Delicatessen
  9. 9. [Fracasse] in MicMacs [1981] [Joseph] in Amélie [1981] Inventor‟s Clones in City of Lost Children [1981]
  10. 10. Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez, is an American soprano, born in Philadelphia in 1949, became famous as Cynthia Hawkins, star of the film Diva (1981). Vladimir Cosma's opera-tinged score rounds things off nicely, creating a witty, playful intelligent film as enjoyable as it is influential. A rarity, something from the 80s well worth re-visiting. Focus on Wilhelmenia Wiggins
  11. 11. After a long apprenticeship as assistant to directors as diverse as Jerry Lewis, on the unreleased The Day the Clown Cried, and Claude Berri on Le male du siècle, Jean-Jacques Beineix emerged as a director in his own right with the intelligent thriller, Diva. Motobécane 88 LC
  12. 12. Beineix's talents also extend to screenwriting and producing, and in the 1980s, along with directors Luc Besson and Leos Carax, he helped establish a category of French films sometimes known as "Cinema du Look."
  13. 13. Beineix's talents also extend to screenwriting and producing, and in the 1980s, along with directors Luc Besson and Leos Carax, he helped establish a category of French films sometimes known as "Cinema du Look." Defined by its slogan "the image is the message," the Cinema du Look consists of films in which appearances are more important than reality, and in which style is more important than plot or content.
  14. 14. Sometimes considered to be the inaugural film of this new style, Beineix's first solo project is one of the most influential French films of the 1980s. Diva self-consciously addresses what have become known as postmodern themes: it is full of images of reflective glass buildings, and its plot centres on the relative value of recorded music and information.
  15. 15. The diva of the film's title is an American opera star who refuses to be recorded but finds that this only increases the value of bootleg recordings of her performances. It is when one of these bootleg tapes is confused with a tape that incriminates a politician that the plot takes off. As Film Studies theorist Jill Forbes points out, however, the central figure of the drama is not the diva herself, but the mail courier who makes the bootleg recording. The film's point, argues Forbes, is that the circulation of information is more important than production.
  16. 16. 1954 Citroën 11 Normale 'Traction'
  17. 17. The glossy style of the "Cinema du Look" transferred easily to TV advertising, and Beineix became involved in making commercials after the success of Diva. Like TV commercials, which he has claimed "capture youth," his films tend to employ intense colours and lighting effects, as well as stylized or strange locations. It is thought, for example, that most of the 7.5 million Franc budget for Diva went on sound and vision rather than high-profile actors.
  18. 18. Despite his influence on the direction of French cinema since the 1980s, Beineix's later films have failed to live up to the early promise of Diva and 37 2 le matin. Unlike his contemporary, Luc Besson, Beineix could be said to have stuck closely to the spirit of "Cinema du Look," but he seems also to have gone on ignoring its limitations. Diva is no longer as cool and enigmatic as it once appeared and perhaps it now looks slightly daft and dated. Some of the film’s qualities still shine through however – its sense of time, its locations, lighting, photography and the central story of the postman and the diva. Its influence can be seen in the films of Jeunet et Caro (Delicatessen, The City of Lost Children) and particularly Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982).
  19. 19. Spaces and Setting: The director, Jean-Jacques Beineix, has placed the story/action in a series of carefully chosen settings, the majority of which are "real" spaces in Paris and its environs. The argument is whether this framing is an example of Film Style or Style over Substance.
  20. 20. “Diva” gives us a voyeuristic view of two contrasting lifestyles. One is the cool, dark lifestyle of the „philosppher” , Serge Gorodish, while the other is of a mail courier named Jules. Bieneux uses architectural space and cinematography to carefully give us a voyeuristic view into the lifestyles of each. This is most evident upon viewing the dwelling of each. Both live in large spacious lofts. Jules‟ loft in particular is much darker and dungy looking then Gorodish‟s loft. Just as Jules and his obsession with Cynthia remain a mystery to us so does his loft. In his loft we see very neutral colours along with various objects dangling and spread all over. In this sense, his loft appears as a shady auto wrecker‟s garage. It accurately depicts the conditions you would predict for the young courier. Not only does this help in the development of Jules‟ character but it also helps reinforce the mystery aspect of the film and create an environment for the action aspect of the film to unfold. The playing of Opera gives order to this chaos. Gorodish‟ loft on the other hand drastically differs from Jules. It is an unbroken, minimalist landscape in comparison to Jules‟ loft. Here we a very long room with no obvious partitions with areas for bed, kitchen, music and contemplation. Blues and greys dominate the palette. Here an unearthly hum dominates the soundscape.
  21. 21. Gorodish‟s LOFT
  22. 22. Gorodish‟s LOFT
  23. 23. JULE‟s LOFT