French thriller Diva for Classic Tuesdays

Jean-Jacques Beineix’s 1981 debut film Diva is the Classic Tuesdays feature next week, at the National Gallery, Castellani House.

The National Gallery noted in a press release that diva, from the Latin for divine, is the term for a great female operatic singer. In this film, the diva is black American opera star Cynthia Hawkins, who refuses to ever record her voice, played by real-life singer Wilhelmenia Fernandez. Her adoring fan, young postal worker Jules, makes an illegal recording of her voice, and is then unknowingly a target for gangsters searching for another tape that will reveal an official scandal, as well as businessmen who want to get their hands on the tape of the singer.

Murder, a chase across Paris, visual and verbal humour and beautiful singing are all elements of Beineix’s film, which captivates as it moves effortlessly from charming romantic or comic moments to urgent thriller, mirrored by the director’s accomplished visual style, where unusual lighting and expressive colour play an important part, the press release said.

Diva won C

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