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  • Diva [DVD] [1982] [US Import]
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Diva [DVD] [1982] [US Import]

37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304689640
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 354,326 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Oliver Twist on 14 April 2010
Format: DVD
Diva (Dir: Jean-Jacques Beineix, 1981) was twenty years ahead of its time and still looks good today - thirty years after it was made. Its particular mixture of high culture, pop culture, Eastern and Western motifs is actually very contemporary - very much where we are now. In terms of style, then, it is no exaggeration to say that Diva was the most significant French film of the 1980s, and one whose influence continues to be felt. Durarara!! for example, would not look and sound quite the way it does had Diva never been made. Having said that, and looking in the opposite direction, I think it is also true to say that Diva owes an unacknowledged debt to the Cary Grant/Audrey Hepburn vehicle, Charade, which was likewise shot in Paris some twenty years earlier.

In terms of plot, Diva is what they used to call a "caper" movie. A young postman, Jules, is in possession of two tapes - one reel-to-reel and one cassette - neither of which he is supposed to have, and only one of which he is aware of having. Both the police and the criminal fraternity are after the tape he doesn't know about, and the Taiwanese music business are after the tape he does know about. Add to this a mysterious and very cool character called "Gorodish" - "He is an outsider...The Lone Ranger" - and the young Vietnamese girl who accompanies him (the precise nature of the relationship is never fully explained) and we're away...

Diva was my favourite film from the moment I saw it (probably 1981/2) and remained so for years afterwards. Then I saw it once too often, got tired of it, and put it away for a few decades. Watching it now - as I'm writing this - I find that it is my favourite film all over again. And, for the reasons already mentioned, it has turned out to be remarkably prescient.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 April 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Jules, the Parisian postman who is the central character, makes an illicit "live" tape recording of the opera singer with whom he is obsessed, his diva. She has never made a recording and Jules is pursued by two Taiwanese dealers who will ignore copyright proprieties and mass produce the tape.
Intertwined with this plot is a second, in which Jules is pursued by two mobsters, and the police, hunting a second tape; this time an account of the rackets run by Mr Big by his mistress. Jules has two allies however who help him through a series of scrapes.
A brilliant "chase based" thriller set in the seedy underworld of Paris. Well paced, the use of plot and sub-plot captures the raw atmosphere of contemporary Paris and results in the finest of a genre of films such as Le Cop, Subway and Dede.
Not to be missed
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. Swan VINE VOICE on 18 July 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this film a few years after it came out, thought it was absoloutly stunning, certainly one of the new wave of chic French films that paved the way for other such classics as Betty Blue. Watching it again as an adult wasn't quite as fulfilling as the last time I saw it as an impressionable youth.

Diva basically has 2 plots that run side by side, the story of 2 tape recordings, One a Illegal recording of an Opera Diva made by a postman and the other a testimony by a local prostitute about a powerful Drug Lord, The postman ends up in possession of both and is chased by 2 sets of criminals, 2 Chinese chaps and 2 french hitmen, Dominique Pinon, one of the hitmen seems to be dressed exactly like the Terminator, Theres even one scene in the film that shares more than a passing resemblance to a scene in T2, Coincidence???. Anyway, these 2 plots don't seem to mesh that well and either one on there own would have been sufficient to carry the movie. Although not too much of a weakness they do make the film a little over long. Having said that apart from the slightly clunky scenario Diva has more than enough cool moments and characters to keep you hooked. It's also a triumph in cinematography, each scene and shot seems to have been lite and structured as if it was a painting, each frame being as important and well thought out as any masterpiece in the Lourve.

If your into foreign of French cinema you just have to have this, it's probably THE most important French film of the 80's and you can see it's influence on nearly every French production since .
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Aug. 2007
Format: DVD
Jules (Frederic Andrei) is a young special delivery messenger in Paris who loves opera and worships the singer Cynthia Hawkins (Wilhemenia Wiggins Fernandez). She's famous for never making recordings. Jules secretly tapes her, and the action starts. Two Taiwan hoods learned of his plans and are determined to steal the tape so they can make bootleg copies. At the same time, a prostitute lets the police know that she made a tape implicating the chief of police in some very nasty crimes involving prostitution and drugs. The tapes get mixed up, and the Taiwan hoods and two ruthless killers working for the police chief go after Jules. He meets and is helped by a young Viet Namese girl and her protector, played by the first-rate French actor Richard Bohringer. Things sort themselves out but only after two hours of stylish, exciting film making, the development of interesting characters you start to care about, especially Jules, and a first-rate chase involving Jules on his moped in and out of the Paris Metro.

The opera recording Jules made is of Hawkins singing an aria from La Wally. The actress playing the role, Wilhemenia Wiggins Fernandez, is an opera singer (and a good actress). She probably had a lot of movie goers running to record shops trying to get her stuff. It's a beautiful, haunting piece of work and is heard several times.

I think Diva is an excellent, high-class mystery/chase movie that holds up very well. Watching it again reminded me of how much I liked it the first time I saw it. The DVD transfer is acceptable.
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