Entertainment Opera sur Arte: return to the cursed film by Dario Argento
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Long unreleased in French theaters, "Opera" (exploited in video under the title "Terror at the Opera") by Dario Argento is broadcast this evening at 11:45 pm on Arte *. The opportunity to (re) discover this great sick film by the Italian horror master.
In 1985,was approached to assemble Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto by those in charge of the Sferisterio theater in Macerata. The enthusiastic filmmaker imagines a daring rock adaptation set in the Viking era, but his sponsors are far from excited and the project does not come to fruition. A painful failure which he made the subject of his next film two years later.
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indeed takes place behind the scenes of Macbeth , whose soprano quarrels with the director, a former director of horror films whose ideas she considers hazy. But an accident takes him out of the cast. After some hesitation, because the opera is reputed to be cursed, young Betty agrees to replace her. She soon receives threats and is targeted by a sadistic killer.
It's easy to draw a parallel between Argento and this horror-born director who tries his hand at the lyrical scene, attracting the sarcasm of the profession. Unfortunately for the filmmaker, the nightmare has only just begun, to the point of wondering if his film is not also the victim of a curse. Despite a comfortable budget, incidents multiply on the set.
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A delicate casting
In addition to having to direct his former companion,, who does not appreciate her role, Dario Argento has to face the withdrawal of in the role of the diva Mara Cecova, who was originally more important. The will never set foot on set while pocketing her full cachet. Argento is also confronted with the state of health of , who is ill with AIDS, who is making his last appearance here on the big screen, and the death of an actor during the shootings.
As for the heroine, it is the youngwho is chosen, on the recommendations of Giorgio Armani. If she has a face reminiscent of the childish charm of or , she shows a nasty character that starts from the first day of filming arguments with Argento, to the point that they end up failing no longer speak. The filmmaker will refer to her in his autobiography Fear as the most difficult actress he has ever worked with.
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A rough cast
Once filming is over, Dario Argento is not at the end of his troubles. The finale set in lush Swiss mountains, a setting reminiscent of, is cut in many versions of operation, notably in the United States where Opera is distributed by the Orion company. The reception in theaters has been very disappointing, including in Italy. After this failure, Argento will sign , an Italian-American production with .
In France, the film is deprived of cinema release and can only be viewed on video, in a cropped and truncated copy, under the title Terreur à l'Opéra . It was not until the restoration of the publisher Le Chat qui fume in 2017 to finally discover this work in high definition and in its unabridged version.
* Opera can also be viewed free of charge on thesite until 04/26/2021.
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