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  • Boy, so much s--t was talked about this film, and I just want to thank you all for dropping my expectations so low that I was able to thoroughly enjoy Scarlet Diva. If you're sitting down to watch this film, one hopes that a certain context is assumed, and an interest has been established, such that terms like "self-indulgent" and "bad acting" do not even enter into the vocabulary. The film pulls you along with heavy visual style, holding its own sexy trash pulse while at the same time prostrating itself at the altar of the director/star's horror-god father Dario Argento, but in a good way. For example, the latter's trademark use of colored lighting is employed liberally, and to appropriate effect. Rapper Schoolly D and NY shock performer/painter Joe Coleman both make great respective turns, as a drug dealer and sleazy producer. Like the work of her auteur Dad, and writer Mother Daria Nicolodi (who appears as "The Mom" in the film), Asia Argento's Scarlet Diva is a horror film, and you will feel horrified at certain scenes. But it's a "horror of life" film, and it's assumed that much of it is semi-autobiographical. Would you pay to see it if it were Drew Barrymore's sleazoid child star/artist family upbringing? Dare to give 90 minutes up to the Scarlet Diva.
  • Cult actress Asia Argento, daughter of Italian horror legend Dario Argento and his former leading lady Daria Nicolodi, almost uses 'Scarlet Diva' as therapy. She is the first to admit that she has a lot of demons to battle, and this semi-autobiographical digital video movie about a successful Italian actress (and "the loneliest girl in the world") trying to find happiness, or at least some relief, through sex, drugs and some disastrous relationships, was obviously cathartic for her to make. Unfortunately it is a very uneven and at times unbelievable film and is almost impossible to get involved with. Anna/Asia's pain and despair isn't hidden but the script is so shallow and the acting so unconvincing that it becomes little more than a freak show. Personally I found Argento's commentary on the DVD much more interesting than the movie itself. In it she spells out just how much of the movie is based on real situations in her life, and explains what has been changed or slightly fictionalized. Hearing her talk honestly about how much this movie means to her, and how for example, getting her own mother (Nicolodi) to play her fictional mother altered their relationship for the better, was more effective than watching the actual movie. It also makes you feel bad for slamming this, but what can you do? It just isn't very good. Argento also talks about how she felt betrayed by her friend Vincent Gallo ('Buffalo 66'), who agreed to play the rock star Kirk Vaines character, but then blew it by asking for too much money. If you look closely you will see Asia stand on a picture of his face in one scene. She also discusses how working with Abel Ferrara on the troubled 'New Rose Hotel' inspired her to direct, and how Ferrara and her father Dario Argento (who gets a production credit) were the only two people to encourage her with this project. I just hope that if she directs again the results are a lot more interesting than this amateurish effort. I say avoid this movie unless you are a complete Asia Argento nut. Otherwise if you must watch it, make sure you listen to the commentary and watch the interview segment, as you will get a lot more out of them than 'Scarlet Diva' itself.
  • Scarlet Diva is Asia Argento's first serious attempt at directing a feature-length movie after a brief but successful acting career. It tells the story of Anna Battista and her first serious attempt at directing a feature-length movie after a brief but successful acting career. Sounds like another example of every debut film turning out autobiographical and, in most cases, pretentious and self-indulgent? Yes indeed, Scarlet Diva is all of these.

    25-year-old Asia Argento learnt her trade on set with her father, Dario Argento, Italy's very own horror-film specialist. Having starred in many of her dad's gore-fests – but also in more mainstream films like La Reine Margot or last year's B. Monkey – she is now out to make a name for herself in the writing/directing business. While she comes a cropper in the writing department (the story is very simple, and some of the dialogue is excruciatingly self-important), it has to be said that the film has style, of a kind. Its use of video footage, the fast editing and the pumping soundtrack go some way towards deflecting attention from both the miserable script and the inept cast. Apart, that is, from Ms Argento herself who, in the title role as Anna Battista aka Scarlet Diva, somehow manages to keep her head above water as the rest of one of the worst acting ensembles for some time (the scenes in Los Angeles are especially bad) go under and stay under.

    In both form and content, there are parallels between Scarlet Diva and Baise-moi, the French scandal-film par excellence. We are given (relatively) graphic rape scenes, a whole sex-drugs-and-rock ‘n roll attitude, and the main character(s) portrayed as victim(s) of the system (in this case the movie production system). Although any comparison with a thoroughly distasteful product like Baise-moi may well have put you off giving the film a chance, not everything about Scarlet Diva is wholly bad. The improvised home-movie style gives the film a pacey and refreshingly amateurish feel that is pretty rare in cinema nowadays. But even that faint praise cannot make up for the sheer pretentiousness and exhibitionism that Asia Argento treats herself to. And there's some dodgy religious imagery to boot. A little more subtlety would certainly have done a lot to improve this film, a film incidentally that would never have seen the light of day had the leading lady not received some timely financial help from daddy and his associates.

    A typical debut film, then, from a first-time director, but still interesting enough, if only for us diehard film fans and for any wannabe anarchists out there.
  • Basically, Scarlet Diva, at least in my view, is Asia Argento exorcising some personal demons, most likely from her past and maybe some of her friends. It's the story about a druggy actress and her struggle for normacy/sanity in an insane world. It is a very personal film filled with episodes from Argento's past, at least you get that impression. It's a good film and is not the shockfest that it has been portrayed as. Worth a see.
  • Scarlet Diva is a novel of radical dismantling. Anna Battista / Asia Argento -- " The best actress of the year", as a voice announces on the first line of the film; "a whore", as she puts it - throws herself on a planetary crusade (Rome / Locarno / Paris /Naples / Rome / Milan / London / Los Angeles / Amsterdam / Rome / Paris) of stereotyped situations: she's late on the set because she's having sex with a big black man on her trailer; she answers boldly to journalists; frees her best friend from bondage, buys hash in Paris; she falls in love with a singer; etcetera. But every stereotype is lit by a strange light, from intense, never banal staging, and an ironic, startled, clear and passionate view of the world. Scarlet Diva is a real woman's film. Anna Battista not only is a victim of destiny, she's also the author of her own story. Anna Battista is an actress wanting to become a director, desperately trying to write a film called Scarlet Diva, a film which ends with these words: "A light snow begins falling, like cotton candy" (which is also a perfect image to describe Asia Argento style as a director: a sweet and morbid lightness). This is Scarlet Diva, a mixture between story and telling, the glance of the actress and the glance of the director, body and camera. In one of the most intense scenes of the film, Anna / Asia, naked in front of a mirror gets made up, then destroys the makeup with her tears. In just a few shots there's all Scarlet Diva: a light intimate photography, a fearless, confident acting, merciless and touching sound track: a precious and grazing staging.
  • Ponchie Da Blob17 March 2002
    The only problem was that I got an Italian version of the video without subtitles, so I had no idea what was going on in a few parts. Argento's directing is great and even thought the imdb site lists this as a drama, the video cover says its a comedy. I think both genres fit and I've never seen such a crude yet beautiful movie before.
  • Not since Marlene Dietrich (of Blue Angel) has a woman come on the silver screen with such raw sexuality. As Lola Lola, Dietrich used men to for her own advancement and amusement; today, as woman have have made tremendous social advances, they are using themselves for their own amusement, such as Anna Battista in Scarlet Diva. If Asia Argento is course in XXX, she is an anarchist in Scarlet Diva, less of an autobiography, more of an example of 21st century voyeurism. Asia has taken all the tricks learned from her father, Dario, and using them to create a slice of life look at an actress trying to figure out what she wants -- blah, blah, blah. No one wants that type of insight about Scarlet Diva. Possible viewers just want to know if it is as sexual as the the poster teases. Oh, yes. The movie is sexual and brutal. This ain't American Pie, where sex is a nice package one can buy at Wal-mart. Sex in Scarlet Diva is shown for its many facets -- as a way to kill time, to punish, to rape, or to connect. Viewers of Scarlet Diva will be f***ed. Some will claim to have been raped but others will thank Asia for the ride.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    *SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT*

    There is a very big question you have to ask yourself before deciding whether or not to watch this movie. It is: Do I care about Asia Argento and her pain? If you could care less, I would steer clear of this one. Asia lets it all hang out as she tells us of her tormented life.

    I'm not going to mix words. I bought this DVD to see Asia Argento get naked and have sex. I'm happy to say Asia does get naked and does have sex. She shows us her angel tattoo and all is right with the world.

    On the DVD, before the movie begins, Asia looks straight into the camera and tells us that we probably heard this movie was no good but not to worry because it is. She also hopes that we might get to know her better…or less. So basically she's saying, "Here's my movie, I did it, you're watching it and there you go." It was kind of strange to have the director reassure the audience before the flick. I was a little thrown off by it.

    So the movie is about a girl named Anna, (Asia Argento), who is a big movie star and very unhappy about it. Sex, drugs and rock and roll make Anna miserable. She is a very lonely woman. One guy is sweet to her and visions of love start dancing in her head. Will Anna ever be happy?

    For this movie to work, you have to believe that Asia is being sincere. You have to believe that most of the stories in the movie happened to her in one form or another at some point in her life. So is the flick Asia spilling her guts out for the world to see? Is it a cry for help? Or is it just a self indulgent flick with Asia crying and weeping as movie stars tend to do?

    For me, it felt sincere. It's not an exploitation flick although there is enough sex and nudity to make it seem otherwise. Asia had a lot on her mind and wanted to have a cathartic experience with this flick. If you like Asia Argento, it's definitely worth a look.
  • It's not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination. The acting is poor to OK, the idea it's recorded on digital video dosen't help though. Some truly great ideas are presented, a shaving scene is very well preformed. The film is very personal, and artistic, but more like a diary of fantasy not a great diary like Anne Frank's. I would suggest to see it but don't buy it. Their is no real reason to watch it again. Their is a little sex but not as much as it looks like. It is dark but again no where near as dark as it looks. And it is serious and tries to be intelligent but it really isn't at all. Asia makes lame attempts to include Godard like pictures, and out the window type shooting but it fails to be interesting. It's really a great attempt and a good try but it's not enjoyable or different enough to be interesting for two hours. I'm not saying it would be better as a porno but the cover and reviews would make one assume that it is dark and sexual and it really isn't. Its kind of a cheap girl on the verge movie.

    Though she does seem very brave to sacrifice herself to the camera so exposed as she does. a scene includes her and black man being interrupted in a trailer that keeps her from getting off. She's wearing all black and net stockings. That's the kind of sexual danger, curiosity, type film I expected. Also a scene where she finds her friend tied up. But these scenes are very very short.

    It could have been great if it had maybe taken a stronger direction into a serious world of sex, violence and drugs like Blue Velvet or irreversible. But it's not. Don't buy it, i did and I'm kind of stuck with it. Asia is great but she isn't as intelligent or as interesting as the angel tattoo flying out of pants and too bad because that's really cool.
  • Although I have to admit, I watched this movie largely out of the prurient interest of seeing Dario Argento's lovely daughter naked and engaging in (reportedly unsimulated) sex scenes, I was genuinely surprised at how good this movie was. While Asia A. has said in various interviews that as a director she has been most influenced by her father, on one hand, and maverick NYC auteur Abel Ferrara, on the other, she demonstrates here, in her directorial-debut, a personal warmth and emotional honesty that is generally absent in the stylistic excesses of the former and usually lost in the sheer pathos of the latter. True, the movie does straddle and (occasionally crosses)the thin line between personal and self-indulgent, but generally it is a moving, semi-autobiographical story of a young woman who has had to, as Lou Reed, once put it "grow up in public". Strangely, the movie isn't really that erotic. One of the most memorable scenes, typical of the movie as whole, has the director/actress completely naked, shaving her armpits in the mirror. While she looks great, of course, there's nothing really sexy or contrived about this scene. She's just a normal girl, totally unself-conscious, going through a morning routine. Asia A. has been often treated by the tabloid press as an Italian version of Paris Hilton or some other scandal queen, but what she may very well turn out to be is another Sofia Coppola, emerging from the shadow of past scandals and a famous father to become a respected artist in her own right.
  • OK...so. As far as first films go, this is stunning.

    Jesus. And I thought "Irreversible" by Gaspar Noe was about the most hostile and brutal film I'd seen.

    "Scarlet Diva" is disjointed yet beautiful in its purity of intent...but horrible in its truths. Like an omniscient eye it invades those private moments when you thought you were alone. Not perfect, but who can claim perfection in life, love or art anyhow?

    In the DVD intro Asia says..."Don't be scared, don't be shocked...It saved my life and maybe it will make your life a little worse or better and you'll get to know me a little better or a little less."

    It's what a film should do to you. Watch it with a good bottle of wine and an open mind and you'll be affected more than you might think. Buy it. Save it. Watch it again.
  • Asia Argento triple-hyphenates (director-writer-actress) her first full length drama. The film is considered to be semiautobiographical in nature but deals with the fictional Anna Batiste is the `loneliest girl in the world' who is the top actress in Italy and posed to be unleashed upon the stage of world cinema but takes herself down a path that leads get involved in many bad life altering situations. She is ultimately used up and spit out by sleazy Hollywood producers, rock stars, druggies, photographers and a sordid list of leeches that leave her alone, pregnant and running mad through the streets of Paris.

    I'm very impressed with the energy that Argento injects into the film. She clearly borrows from some of the well-known directors she has worked with in the past (including her father Dario) but it all works in her favor. A rich color scheme is used throughout the film that sometimes gives an ethereal feel that is sometimes jarring . The script matches the direction, a little disjointed but it works for the characters spiral into agony. Her acting and the cast around her is very good, her believable portrait of the character throughout the peaks and valleys of her life.

    Unfairly blasted by critics this film should be seen with an open mind. True I was already a fan of Asia Argento before I saw the film but you don't have to be in order to like or respect the film.
  • Scarlet Diva (2000)

    ** (out of 4)

    Anna Battista (Asia Argento) is an Italian actress whose dream it is to direct but she runs into one wall after another on her self destructive path filled with sex and drugs.

    SCARLET DIVA not only stars Argento but she also wrote and directed the picture, which most will see as a movie about herself. Through various interviews and even the commentary track it's hard to follow what in the movie is based on her of if any of it really is. As far as the film goes, in all honesty there's really nothing great or bad about it and it's pretty much an average film.

    I think the best thing about the picture was Argento the actress as she certainly gives it her all. There are all sorts of drama here from rape scenes to bizarre drug trips and even some heavy drama. Argento does a good job in the acting department and she certainly helps keep the movie going along. The supporting players are all nice as well including Daria Nicolodi who plays the mother.

    The biggest issue I have with the film is that it seems Argento is wanting to say a lot but nothing really comes out of the film. I'm sure there was some sort of deep or personal meaning that Argento wanted to get out but whatever it is remains pretty still. I'm sure people could watch this and draw their own conclusions but I found the film to be somewhat of a mess in the story department.

    The film features quite a bit of sex, nudity and drugs but it's really not shocking or too daring. If you're a fan of Argento you'll certainly want to watch it for her but there's nothing overly special here.
  • This is a film that fails dismally by itself, but is redeemed by a truly great DVD special feature.

    I truly love experimental movies and imports and this clearly falls into that category. But, the film is not at all well done. It's dull in many places and too often reduces to sex for the sake of prurient interested. The plot, or lack of plot, rambles about and is very confusing. Some of the symbolism is so obscure you won't know it until you listen to the director's commentary. You have trouble identifying with any of the characters because they are so unrealistic.

    But, it is in the area of the DVD director's commentary that this film shines brightly. Just out of curiosity, I turned it on after watching the film and was surprised how much I learned about the film, the directing process, the actors, and the director's life. Interestingly enough, the commentary is far better than the actual film. Though the film is meant to be somewhat autobiographical, the real facts of Asia's life are far more interesting and make much more sense, though they be somewhat strange to those of us looking from the outside. So many commentaries tend to be just some trivia about the shoot. This one tells lots of great stories about the people and process. You'll learn so much about stolen shots and when the sex is real and when it's not. I wish more commentaries went out on a limb to tell of truth about what is going on in the creative process as she has done here.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I really like the way this movie is made, it's immersive, you have the feeling to live the story, and I love the choice of music (Asia is also a nice Dj), I really do not understand why this movie only have 5.7/10... if you like it I suggest you to see "Fix" of Tao Ruspoli, and "Gummo" of Harmony Korine.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The DVD opens with Asia Argento having to explain why her film doesn't stink. Almost like starting your political career by saying, "I am not a witch." Her speech was all over the place. As an actress and director, she should have written something down, have someone with a medium IQ look at it, and then read it off the card.

    The film is about the life story of a skanky looking model/actress (Asia Argento) whose life is in a free-fall all due to her own doing. Nothing she does endears herself to anyone. I was hoping for a zombie, or a slasher, or a rubber headed alien to make the film interesting. As a model and actress she is asked questions that a fifth grader could handle, but she looks like a deer in the headlights.

    My DVD quality was also bad. I only mention it because it was a new DVD fresh out of the case, no rattle, and it stuck about 1:09 into the film. I can't even resell it to recoup some of my loss. Buyer beware.

    There are better films where Asia gets naked.

    F-bomb, sex, nudity (Asia Argento, Selen, Vera Gemma)
  • I did not know about Asia Argento before watching the film, save the comments on this site, so I went into the film with some trepidation.

    For a first shot at direction Asia did a great job, however she was let down by some of the actors around her and perhaps should pay more attention to the casting of her next movies. The "feel" did move between "Cinema Verite" and a more glossy feel which didn't work for me as far as the production value are concerned.

    I was clear from her acting performance that the story line was heart felt.

    I look forward to seeing some more of her work
  • I just saw the unrated cut of Scarlet Diva, and I have to disagree with almost everyone who has written a review about it. I think this is a great movie! I'm a big fan of Asia Argento as well as a fan of her father's, and this movie was everything I wanted it to be.

    There was nothing low-budget about it...the picture quality and sound was excellent; what exactly do you people want? Spaceships and aliens? If you are a fan of Asia, it gives you real insight into her life...you see first-hand how a woman who plays roles like hers gets treated by men; you really feel the creepiness. The style of filming was very effective; it definitely conveyed the real-life aspect of the movie. The quick cuts and sometimes nauseating camera movements and angles portray her state of mind, which at times is very unstable. There is a scene where she does special K, and being someone who has done it, it sent chills up my spine; they very accurately reproduced the sounds you hear in your head, the confusion and overlapping events, the sense of everything in your head being completely backwards...

    And lets not forgot the very sexual nature of the movie. If you're a conservative Christian, you probably won't like the movie. I, however, loved the many sex scenes (including a very hot lesbian scene). But it isn't all just gratuitous humping; there is intimacy in some places and lack of in others, all intentional.

    I'll stop babbling and just say, if you are a fan of Asia and know to some degree what she's all about, you WILL in fact enjoy this movie. If you know little about her type of lifestyle, you'll probably just see a lot of it as nonsense. For me, it was very emotionally engaging and definitely has some images that stuck in my head days after watching it. Asia is beautiful, intelligent, and very talented. The rock star she falls in love with is pretty lame, but I'm an aspiring rock star myself and say that about a lot of people.

    I think she should consider doing a follow-up or sequel. I definitely hope all the bad reviews have not discouraged her from following her own path.
  • "Scarlet Diva," written, directed, and starred in by Asia Argento is a look into the life of Anna Battista. Anna is an actress who delves into depression and lonliness in the wake of her career. The movie itself is filmed in digital, and takes on a documentary feel to it, which only adds to the realness of the film. This semi-autobiographical film reaches out to the viewer, forcing them to either fully embrace the main character or turn away. But, if you embrace her, and feel her intense sadness, the film will truly move you. Labeled by some as "too explicit," or "overly sexual," it pulls no punches when portraying Anna's escapes into drugs, sex, and self mutilation. But, possibly the most disturbing aspect of Anna's life are her peers. The people surrounding her seem hollow and surreal, giving the film's focus on Anna's lonliness a much more personal aspect. It is a rollercoaster ride of shocking perversity, subtle symbolism, and heart wrenching realism centered by one of the most talented people (IMHO) in Hollywood. I reccomend this film to anyone who enjoys realist art. Unpretentious, gritty, and utterly beautiful, "Scarlet Diva" is sure to haunt your dreams for a long time. 10/10.

    GuyintheTV
  • I recently had the great fortune to view SCARLET DIVA on the big screen in New York City. I have been a fan of Ms. Asia Argento's acting talent for quite some time and also a huge fan of her father (Dario Argento) for even longer.

    When I first heard that she had directed a semi-autobiographical DV feature I was a bit interested, but ultimately I have to admit I was not expecting it to be good. My initial thought was that the film would interest me, because I am interested in the subject matter, but I guess I thought that she was just another "actor turned director", and even worse, she thought she could follow in her father's footsteps.

    Upon viewing the film I quickly realized that I was wrong. She was not just an "actor turned director", she was just an artist that simply decided to change mediums (and still work in the same medium, considering that she did also star in the film). Further more, I also quickly realized that she was not following in her father's footsteps. In fact she was not even attempting to.

    Now, about the film itself. It was extremely interesting and engaging. One of the film's main strengths was its visual artistry. I had read that the entire film was shot on digital video. If this is in fact true, I give Asia and her Director of Photography a lot of credit. Some of the film does look like typical video, but a lot of it doesn't. A lot of it looks really nice, not like video at all. If they did shoot the entire film with DV, I have to thank them for showing independant filmmakers like myself, that it is possible to NOT make DV look like crap. THANKS!

    The photography was not the only beautiful thing about the film's visuals. The art design and editing also made the film very interesting to watch. Typically I am not a fan of "hyper-stylized" filmmaking, with crazy cuts and a shakey camera, but I have to say that, though this film had a definite style, I enjoyed it. There was some hand held camera work and there was some stylized cutting (like jump cuts and the use of wipes instead of dissolves or fades), but ultimately they were not that intrusive to the film. I guess what I am trying to say is that she did not over use them. The whole film wasn't a style fest, Style was only used when it needed to be.

    So I guess to sum up this review, I liked it. I suggest you go see it if you can. Even if you don't think you're going to like, give it a shot, because you might be surprised. And for all those "horn-balls" out there that want to see the film because you read all about its steamy, porn-like sex scenes. I'm sorry to disappoint, but they're not all that steamy or porn-like.
  • I finally got to watch this film of dvd, it's one of the newer Italian exploitation flicks that ran rampant in the 70's. Although the other reviews said it's not quite porn, part of it is with a couple of nude scenes, and some harsh language and toilet humor to boot.

    Asia Argento will probably not be called a great directors, some of her mistakes are shown are here, however, the interesting thing about the flick is that it's partially based on her biography and life.

    Dont rent the crappy vhs version, get the dvd version instead which comes with a couple of bonus items.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Man, what a movie. Pow! Zip! It's like an 18-act Italian opera taking place in the center ring of a three-ring circus while bears waltz and elephants stand on their heads on either side.

    Every camera trick known to man or beast is put to use. If Anna Batista (Argento), the famous actress, does a line of Special K, it's only to give the camera a chance to show us more phantasmagorical horrors in lurid color. The sink into which she tries to puke turns to rubber and so forth. And there's her mother's ghost.

    And it never stops. Well, not exactly. There are occasional pauses in the tumult while Anna and her friends seem to functioning normally, but the pauses are only there as lead-ins to the next bout of victimization.

    I lost count of the number of times Anna is roughly assaulted by men. The most memorable (because the funniest) is "the finest writer-director in the world" who summons her to Amsterdam. She's expecting to go over her script for Cleopatra but when she opens the door to his shabby multicolored garbage-strewn room she finds him lurching about, his pants unzipped, jerking in spasms, and managing to moan: "I've been an alcoholic for four years -- and now I'm on SMACK." The poor girl turns her head away in disgust while he shoots up. Then as he flops beside her on the couch and points out his new knife scar, she suggests they talk about the script. But the world's greatest writer-director has other things on his mind. He throws himself all over her, blubbering and pulling at her black slacks, while she squeals and manages to push him away. He calls her a woman of low repute, slaps her several times, and she rushes out the door.

    It must be some kind of female fantasy, or maybe it's just Asia Argento's thing, but the whole movie darts from one attempted rape to another. One is committed by some babe with surgically enhanced bosoms the size of basketballs. Another rape -- another rough one -- is attempted by some Hollywood producer of schlock films. He wears a curious beard but no underwear, and he sounds precisely like Dennis Miller.

    She has only one true love, an Australian rock singer of no distinctive talent. They meet and immediately go to bed. She winces when he crawls atop her and tells Keith that she's never made love before. "Are you a virgin?" "No, I'm a whore." That one-night stand with a man who turns out to have a wife and children was a dangerous one inasmuch as it impregnates her. On this discovery she runs big-bellied through the night-time streets of Rome until she collapses before a painting of the Virgin and Child. Her lost love appears in the distance, silhouetted by a halo of bright light -- so bright that she must blink when looking into it. It's left unclear whether she'll give birth to the next Messiah or the second Buddha. End of movie.

    It's a silly, low-budget piece of trash, and yet it doesn't diminish any respect I might have had for Asia Argento, the writer, director, and star. The writer and the director have thoroughly deglamorized the star. The DVD opens with Argento, sans makeup, looking wanly into the camera and telling us, "I know you might have heard some bad things about this movie. But don't be afraid. After you watch it, maybe you will get to know me a little better -- and I will get to know you." We get to know the character pretty well. For several minutes we watch her tattooed naked body before a bathroom mirror while she shaves her armpits, applies lipstick, and watches tears roll down her cheeks.

    The rape scenes are not at all erotic and Argento places the camera so that her body seems less like an object of desire than a dressed cabrito hanging in a butcher shop window. I mean, there is a brief shot of her bare ass as the slime ball Hollywood producer tries to pull her dress up and it the thought this undignified camera angle prompts is not how pretty her rear end is but how vulnerable the character, Anna Batista, is.

    The movie may or may not be very autobiographical, but in either case it's not a facile quest for pity from the audience. This bipolar dynamo can take care of herself. She lashes out hoarse, filthy curses at her tormentors in three different languages, a volcano of pejoration.

    I wish that energy and that disgust for artificiality had somehow been used as the engine for a better story. Or for any story at all. As it is, I think Argento was right when she said we might get to know her better. We wind up with more respect for her courage and sincerity.
  • 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.
  • giovannip-128 February 2019
    This is the second film I have seen by Asia as a Director, (the fist Being Incompresa from 2014, which i saw before i saw Diva) This is awesome stuff, gritty, disturbing, engrossing,, and other long words that we can't think of right now because we are so bloomin gobsmacked by it. Incompresa i totally loved, and this one, in our never so humble opinion is just as good, Daring, shocking, and watermelon size cojones for baring her life good or bad, and major kudos for including, the well i guess now famous, hotel scene. Brilliant Job Asia, good one sticking to your guns and creating a work of art in a singular vision that is all yours irrelevant of any naysayer bull. Keep it up..
  • Nodriesrespect1 January 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    Contrary to what one might expect given her lineage and initial directorial foray in the horror anthology DE GENERAZIONE, Asia Argento's first full length feature isn't a scare flick but an occasionally embarrassingly personal reflection by the youthful actress/filmmaker on her involuntarily imposed role as public commodity. A single blood-soaked nightmare sequence serves as a tribute to dad Dario, a courtesy she could hardly fail to include, especially since he co-produced this baby !

    Defying criticism, Asia stars and rarely leaves the screen as Anna Battista, Italy's hottest (okay…), multi-award-winning (ouch !) starlet of the day. So far, so self-indulgent. Detractors will however find it difficult to make accusations of rampant narcissism stick when Argento goes out of her way to paint herself as a hump anything slut, unrepentant substance abuser and borderline psycho ! Struggling to realize her pet project, the titular SCARLET DIVA, Anna has to contend with a randy US producer (beefing up the film's comedy quota), a fawning if clueless agent and a pair of pan-sexual photographers who nearly get her killed when they dope her up on Special K (no, not the breakfast cereal !) as a prelude to carnal liberties. Watch out for big-breasted pasta porn princess Selen (from Joe D'Amato's terrific RAW AND NAKED) as one of Anna's one night stands making a lusty pit stop on her way to the airport.

    Vivid snapshots from the everyday life of a media darling make for an engaging if inevitably episodic film, pulled together in its second half by the injection of a one-sided love story between Anna and a self-important, platitude-spewing performance artist. This guy's an obvious fraud to anyone but our blinded heroine who insists on creating her own illogical happily ever after when life won't grant her as much. The line between Anna and Asia fades away for a haunting, unabashedly kitsch-flavored ending as Argento's creative mind takes action, bending the turn of events so that the protagonist achieves not only romantic bliss but – in a nose-thumbing move to the lady's naysayers – near-canonization in the process !
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