ARIA: Operatic Dreamscapes

The premise of the 1989 film Aria is this: 10 directors were asked to make the short film of their choice, the only requirement being that it was set to an operatic aria.  While some of the interpretations are rather literal snoozefests (the cinematic debut of Elizabeth Hurley’s breasts or not), a couple are spellbinding.  You have Godard being really out there and really French–even when his subject matter is a bodybuilding gym, and a grotesque take on an insane asylum’s theater night by Robert Altman.

But perhaps the most mesmerizing pieces in the film are Ken Russel’s “Nessun Dorma” and Franc Roddam’s “Liebestod.”  Russel’s “Dorma” imagines a woman who–having survived a terrible accident–imagines she is a sun goddess, beautiful rituals and jewels mirroring her wounds and operation.  “Liebestod” follows a young couple with naivete written in their faces to Las Vegas. Upon consummating their relationship in the most tragically hot love scene to ever grace our eyes, they attempt to kill themselves.

We watched these on repeat, crying, wishing these dreams could last forever. Don’t take our word for it–watch for yourself. In fact, do yourself a favor, ignore the Youtube links, and get on Netflix Instant right now.

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Filed under Film, Inspirational Things

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