6 January 2003 | abisio
Fearless movie or strong catharsis; but a pleasent surprise
Asia Argento, daughter of the legendary horror movie creator Dario Argento, is barely known in the USA aside for a couple of art house movies and the bad movie but commercial success of XXX where she is the only character that really acts.
Even when I saw a few of her movies, mostly horror fare where I could not appreciate her look mixes of a timid person trying to seem strong. Something that make her lovely even when she is not an aggressive beautiful as other Italian actresses like Monica Belucci, Agostina Belly, Laura Antonelli or Ornella Mutti.
Thanks to the generosity of movie distribution, this movie was shown in Miami probably one week in some hidden theatre and of course I was not able to catch it until mysteriously was released on DVD just a few weeks later. Well this is the first time I really grateful I enjoyed the movie in the intimacy and calm of my home instead of a probably empty theatre. Why ?. Just because after seeing the whole 90 minutes, I heard Asia's enlightening interview and after that I saw the movie again but this time only with the director's commentary. Something I never did before in any of the more than 300 movies I own.
Is SCARLET DIVA such a great movie ?. Well no; it really is an amazing experience. The story is not really so. Just a famous actress trying to direct her first movie call SCARLET DIVA and moving in different levels of the industry looking for support. Is also the desperation to find love in an environment were it not exist. The relation among the different bits or scenes is barely existent. Is like witnessing a huge depressing moment in a person you care, and things did not get any makeover.
Two important facts here; first you care about the character because you realize the protagonist is living in a real hell; which paradoxically is the life she choused.
Second it requires a great courage to shot most of the things this movie shows. I am not talking only about the interracial sex or the substance abuse or the humiliations of being in the show business; but also the fantasies, the traumas and your own family and personal dysfunctions.
However, self pity is avoided and risks taken all over. I never saw an actress nude in front of a mirror shaving her arm pits and creating a tender moment out of it. It also requires a lot of guts for a women/actress to accept that she never made love before; because she was always a whore.
Even when most of the things are real, Asia avoids real names and did not point fingers. However, in the commentary, something worth hearing because of the frankness she describes all real and no so real things, she mention several real names (mostly art house and independents like Vincent Gallo) stating how little help or how they betrayed her friendship and the little collaboration on her movie.
The comment itself , is worth almost as much as the movie. It looks so natural and sincere that; if it is not true, she really deserves and Oscar for that.