Sep 272018
 

Scarlet Diva is by no means a bad movie, just not quite fully fleshed out and does have some amateurish filmmaking and style, though for what I’m sure was a considerably limited budget, not too bad.

 

 

Scarlet Diva
(2000)

Genre(s): Drama
Film Movement | NR – 91 min. – $39.95 | September 25, 2018

Date Published: 09/27/2018 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Asia Argento
Writer(s): Asia Argento
Cast: Asia Argento, Jean Shepard, Herbert Fritsch, Joe Coleman, Francesca D’Aldja, Vera Gemma
DISC INFO:
Features: Audio Commentaries, Featurettes, Promos
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English/Italian/French (PCM 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 31.1 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

Film Movement provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 2.5/5


Plot Synopsis: Anna Battista (ASIA ARGENTO) is a rising young actress who, despite her popularity and success, experiences despair and degradation at the hands of an abusive industry. Her harrowing journey towards redemption leads her on a sordid spree of excess across America and Europe while trying to recapture her innocence and find true love.

Quick Hit Review: To be perfectly honest, I approach this review with some trepidation. A quote from the back cover makes Scarlet Diva the “earliest #MeToo film” as well as “Time’s Up”, and while that might be true, with some of the controversy surrounding writer/director/star Asia Argento makes this an unusual situation to review, call it poor timing on the studio’s part.

My general point of view when it comes to celebrities is separating the artist from the art and from that perspective, Scarlet Diva, albeit amateurish in some regards, certainly has some brave, if not uncomfortable scenes from Argento. And yet, even while writing this review, considering the subject matter, it is difficult to ignore how closely this resembles the “Me Too” movement and there’s even one scene that I believe at least was a basis for Asia Argento’s real-life assault at the hands of Harvey Weinstein.

The performance from Asia Argenta is generally excellent and it’s apparent she is drawing some painful personal history that she has been open about in various interviews. In this movie, she’s assaulted or taken advantage of by various slimy individuals from executives and those in powers, and of both sexes. And even though I did say it was amateurishly shot, I will admit, this style really gives it a more private vantage point which would’ve been lost if it were shot like any other drama.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.25/5


This release comes with a 20-page booklet featuring an essay by Kier-La Janisse.

There are two Audio Commentaries, both from Asia Argento. The first is from the original 2002 release, the other new. Both are interesting enough providing different perspectives in her life. Extraneously, you can also tell the 16 years since of smoking has effected on her voice…

Looking into the Eye of the Cyclops (8:01) is a featurette on painter Joe Coleman who also acted in Scarlet Diva.

Asia Argento Original Release Interview (16:58) is from 2002 (I think) as she discusses her film.

Making Scarlet Diva (8:28) takes us behind-the-scenes from 1998/99 and includes interviews with actress/writer/director Asia Argento, producers Claudio and Dario Argento, director of photographer Frederic Fasano.

Rounding things out is the 2018 Theatrical Trailer (1:35), the Original Release One Minute Promo (1:01) and the Original Release Eight Minute Promo ()8:04.

 


VIDEO – 3.0/5


Scarlet Diva underwent a new digital restoration and is presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture probably does look better than it ever would but even so, detail isn’t the best and colors are on the muted side, but the transfer does look fairly clean and free of dust marks or scratches and there weren’t any noticeable artifacts or aliasing.

AUDIO – 3.5/5


The disc comes with an Italian language PCM Stereo track which did sound decent enough with good dialogue and even though there was some minor hissing, was serviceable especially for an independently financed film.

 


OVERALL – 2.75/5


Overall, Scarlet Diva is by no means a bad movie, just not quite fully fleshed out and does have some amateurish filmmaking and style, though for what I’m sure was a considerably limited budget, not too bad. Asia Argento turns in a gutsy performance clearly drawing in from her own experiences and while I do tend to separate the art from the artist, it was hard to ignore her own “Me Too” issues…

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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