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9. Diva

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A slick thriller with a good, if improbable, plot, set in Paris. It combines drama with opera (les Wallies).

Jules, a young postman, makes an illegal recording of a diva's live performance. But the tape gets switched with another tape cassette containing information of interest to the Police.

Jules has to rely for his survival on Alba, a young girl, and her mysterious and very, very cool friend - a sort of French James Bond figure who is relaxed enough to be able to fit in completing a giant jig-saw puzzle, giving instruction in the correct way to butter a baguette, and relaxing in the bath, all while chain smoking cigarettes and foiling the forces of evil with casual insouciance.

Notable for its New-Wave production values and for those who like this sort of thing, an extended motorcycle chase.

Incidentally, before casting, the producers were looking for an actress who fit the description the Diva in the original novel. What they needed was a beautiful Black American woman who could sing an operatic soprano role flawlessly, and who could speak English and French fluently. Not knowing where to start they went to the opera to see Carmen. Wilhemenia Fernandez, a perfect fit, happened to be playing the title role that night.

Genre: Thriller /Drama/ Music
Year: 1981
Runtime: 117 min (USA:123 min)
Country: France
Language: French & English
Colour: Colour (Eastmancolor)
Sound Mix: Mono
Directed by
Jean-Jacques Beineix
Writing credits
Daniel Odier (novel)
Jean-Jacques Beineix (adaptation)

Frédéric Andréi, Jules
Roland Bertin, Weinstadt
Richard Bohringer, Gorodish
Gérard Darmon, L' Antillais
Chantal Deruaz, Nadia
Jacques Fabbri, Jean Saporta
Patrick Floersheim, Zatopek
Thuy An Luu, Alba
Jean-Jacques Moreau, Krantz
Dominique Pinon, Le curé
Anny Romand, Paula
Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez, Cynthia Hawkins
Raymond Aquilon
Eugène Berthier
Gérard Chaillou

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