Jean-Jacques Beineix (Betty Blue, 5th Element) made a catchy debut as a director with this slick, defiantly superficial 1982 movie about a young mail carrier who illegally records a performance by an opera singer, then gets the tape mixed up with evidence that could incriminate gangsters.
Originally broadcast on 22nd May 1988, at 10:55pm. BBC2.
Wearing flashy commercialism like a badge, Beineix fills the screen with explosions of disposable pop kitsch. Yet he also tells a fairly compelling story in the process, one that only seems to get more interesting the closer one gets to the end.
Alex Cox said: “It’s an art director’s film and the name of the art director is Hilton Mocconnico. Hilton’s film is, I guess, what you’d call a New Wave film. It’s a post-punk, hyper-modern, ultra-realist sort of subject. It’s fresh and shiny, like one of those glum-looking models that stare out at you from the pages of The Face.”
“The movie’s a maelstrom of possibilities touching ethnic relations, high art, fashion and modern morality, not to mention cinema.”
“A light-headed, fleet-footed French caper, Jean-Jacques Beineix’s ultra-stylish Diva stormed the art houses when it was released in 1982, and it’s still a lot of fun now.”
“A topsy-turvy wonderland of stylistic riffs and thematic threads reverberating back on themselves for the sheer, exuberant, sexy hell of it.”