Asia Argento plays Anna Battista, who, when you get down to it, is really Asia Argento inthis intensely autobiographical film. Anna, a popular film star in Italy, stumbles from one bizarreencounter to another, pining for one-night-stand Kirk, in this picaresque tale. There isn’t much ofa plot, as such. Instead, we witness her descent into hell and ultimate redemption. The sex ispretty graphic, which is what caused all the fuss upon the film’s release, but what hasn’t beencommented …n is the fact that many sequences (particularly the LA episode) are extremely funny.Argento, daughter of horror film maestro Dario Argento, appears to have inherited his strongvisual sense (this is a striking film, all the more impressive for its tiny budget), but has a voice allher own. The film is not perfect, but is raw, brutally honest, and a very promising debut. Argentois a filmmaker to keep an eye on.
The 2.0 mix has strong music and (when the music gives them a chance) sound effects froma surround point of view. The overall sound does, however, leave quite a bit to be desired. Thereis noticeable distortion, and not just on the dialogue. Some of this might be due to the low budgetof the film. However, there are several moments where the sound skips, losing the rear speakersentirely, and this feels more like the fault of the DVD. The soundtrack is split almost 50-50between English and Italian.
The film’s 1.85:1 widescreen ratio has been respected. The blacks are solid, and the coloursand flesh tones are good. Most of the time. There are some very grainy scenes, and the picturequality does vary. Most of this, however, appears to be deliberate, as well as a result of theguerilla filmmaking techniques Argento adopted (shooting many of the location scenes on thesly, for instance). The layer transition is extremely clumsy.
The menu is basic after a very long intro, and a bit frustrating: once you have triggered thedirector’s commentary, there is no option for turning it off, unless you use the audio button onyour remote. Said commentary is just as revealing and personal as the film itself, with Argentoproviding much insight into what was real and what was fictional. She also fills us in on thebackground of many of the actors, and is close to shot-specific on how the film was made. A 17-minute interview is also very personal, rather intensely so. When you start the feature, you alsoget a little introduction by Argento, and it’s a little bit strange, but also endearing. Finally, thereis a small photo gallery, and trailers for Scarlet Diva, House on the Edge of the Park, Visitor Q(one of the strangest trailers EVER) and Versus.
Emphatically not for everyone, but certainly worthy of attention, and harrowingly personal inan age of committee filmmaking.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Asia Argento Interview
- Photo Gallery