Scarlet Diva (2000)
Shot on digital video, this no-holds-barred, semi-autobiographical film from Italian actress/model Asia Argento presents the bleak decent of a popular actress into a haze of drugs and overindulgence. Anna Battista (Argento) has seemingly everything anyone could ever want, yet sometimes everything is never enough. Fed up with going through the motions as an actor, Battista aspires to seek a career as a director so that she may truly explore her currently latent artistic talent. The queen of excess, Battista's attempts to realize her true talent are time and again shattered as the she is used and abused by everyone she comes into contact with. After a one-night fling with an emotionally distant and uncaring Australian rock star (Jean Sheperd) leaves the self-confessed whore a lovelorn mother-to-be, Battista's desperation to bring her story to the screen finds her dealing with a shady American producer (Joe Coleman), an agent reluctant to assist her in branching out, and a heroin-addicted former filmmaker who is as close to ending his life as Battista is to beginning hers. Her career in disarray and her uncertain future growing increasingly grim, Battista embarks on a numbing binge of sex and drugs that takes her from Europe to America and back again. Attempting to seek-out the father of her unborn child and find some sense of stability, Battista finds the truth about her one-time lover. … More
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Critic Reviews for Scarlet Diva
It's a demented kitsch mess (although the smeary digital video does match the muddled narrative), but it's savvy about celebrity and has more guts and energy than much of what will open this year.
This is such a dazzlingly self-assured directorial debut that it's hard to know what to praise first.
Scarlet Diva has a voyeuristic tug, but all in all it's a lot less sensational than it wants to be.
The film, while not exactly assured in its execution, is notable for its sheer audacity and openness.
This is an egotistical endeavor from the daughter of horror director Dario Argento (a producer here), but her raw performance and utter fearlessness make it strangely magnetic.
"Argento splatters her colorful life on the screen like an adolescent's diary, trusting others to sort through the fascinating mess."
The cinematic equivalent of scabies ... and I mean that as a compliment.
Everyone I know who owns a camcorder has made a self-confessional, semi-autobiographical piece of videotaped wankery, but Asia Argento does it better than all of them.
Amid the shock and curiosity factors, the film is just a corny examination of a young actress trying to find her way.
Argento, at only 26, brings a youthful, out-to-change-the-world aggressiveness to the project, as if she's cut open a vein and bled the raw film stock.
It's difficult to discern if this is a crazy work of disturbed genius or merely 90 minutes of post-adolescent Electra rebellion.
A clutchy, indulgent and pretentious travelogue and diatribe against... well, just stuff. Watching Scarlet Diva, one is poised for titillation, raw insight or both. Instead, we just get messy anger, a movie as personal therapy.
As original and insightful as last week's episode of Behind the Music.
As home movie gone haywire, it's pretty enjoyable, but as sexual manifesto, I'd rather listen to old Tori Amos records.
...may work as an addictive guilty pleasure but the material never overcomes its questionable satirical ambivalence. This Scarlet's letter is A...as in aimless, arduous, and arbitrary.
Beneath the film's obvious determination to shock at any cost lies considerable skill and determination, backed by sheer nerve.
Asia authors herself as Anna Battista, an Italian superstar and aspiring directress who just happens to be her own worst enemy.
Audience Reviews for Scarlet Diva
Fascinating, disturbing, confused. Shows the ugly side of fame - the alienation, betrayal and effects of drug abuse. This film is certainly not glamourous or particularly titilating as might be expected.More
Really strange semi-autobiographical darkly dramatic in what sexy Asia Argento stars, directs and writes this weird film. But Asia looks bloody hot in her naked and sex scenes. Whoo!More
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