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CURRENT VIEWING: Jean Jacques Beineix's DIVA

Jean Jacques Beineix's 1981 masterpiece "Diva"Jean Jacques Beineix's 1981 masterpiece "Diva"

Max strikes again, this time pulling up Jean Jacques Beineix's fantastic French masterpiece "Diva" as companion viewing to last week's posting for "Liquid Sky" . I love Max's hard fashion meets grad student style of analysis. Keep inspiring us please!

This movie, both in it's original theatrical incarnation release in 1981 as well as the newly re-released digital version by Rialto Films (in limited release at this time), is groundbreaking, pioneering and inspirational to members of the creative industries ( art, advertising, design, fashion, film, media, modeling, photography, etc.)

Here is a short list of the impact that this movie has had in terms of influence -

a. The script and concept of the movie was/is still very directional and pioneering because it featured a mix of old Europe/France/Paris (OPERA/OLD RIGHT BANK/RIVE DROITE PARIS) with the new Europe/France Paris (NEW WAVE/EARLY SYNTH MUSIC/POST PUNK/ARABIC/AFRICAN/VIETNAMESE COLONIAL CHARACTERS/INFLUENCES), leading to further French film productions such as LA HAIGHT, INDOCHINE, BETTY BLUE. The film was also, related by "kismet" with other ground breaking films such as "LIQUID SKY" and "BLADE RUNNER".

The various main characters in the movie, including the African-American opera singer, the French main character, the Vietnamese teen-age female thief, her older French boyfriend/lover/Svengali and the mix of their interactions became a precursor of France's future population of French nationals and colonial refugees/immigrants (non-white/European). The movie's genius and script not only featured this mix of characters but also presented interaction between the characters in contrasting "stylish/mellow" scenes coupled with "violent/pre-MTV/VIDEO GAME-ISH" scenes.

b. The cinematography, art direction and visual set productions was a blend and crazy mix of OLD/NEW, coupled with it's "kismet" partners (LIQUID SKY & BLADE RUNNER), created the foundation for future French movies such as The 5th Element, Betty Blue, The Professional, La Femme Nikita.

c. The soundtrack was/still is groundbreaking for being the first soundtrack to feature Opera mixed with NEW WAVE SYNTH (paving the way for Jean Michel Jarre), and also purely "CLASSICAL" INSTRUMENTALS all in one soundtrack. The soundtrack was received well by both European/French and U.S. consumers.

d. The wardrobe/costume design for the movie is amazing because it was a perfect confluence of the most pioneering clothing movements mixed with traditional "CLASSIC FRENCH/OLD WORLD/OLD SCHOOL" clothing. The various characters, with their varying wardrobes, from the vinyl almost "punk" outfit of the Vietnamese shoplifter, to the pseudo classic meets mod/ska outfits of the antagonists/hitmen/killers, to the old school almost Grecian classical dresses and head wraps of the "diva", contributed in presenting a "new" vision of society, via clothing which represented OLD/NEW/CLASSIC/PUNK/NEW WAVE/STREET/COUTURE/EUROPEAN/COLONIAL IMMIGRANT. The wardrobe led the way for the French people, and Old Western Europe society to accept the major changes and influence that was to come from the new immigrants/punks/street.

Here are some links of interest -


YouTube Links -

Diva "SENTIMENTAL WALK" video clip link-

Diva "LA WALLY" video clip link-

Related Images -

Diva Movie Poster Links

Taste is a dictatorship.


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