An embarassing cover for a dull movie.

Should a movie be judged without the backstory?

Asia Argento is the daughter of Italian camp-horror director Dario Argento. Dario directed the influential movie, Suspira. Although not as distinct, Dario Argento influenced the 1970s horror genre in the US like Sergio Leone influenced the Western decades before. Asia has been around, starring in, and overwhelmed by movies since she was a little child. Scarlet Diva is her allegorical biography and search for her own identity.

The liberating force of Digital Video allows Asia Argento the freedom to film this movie quickly and cheaply. We see Asia on the set, tired of her own fame. She escapes to France to see her friend who is an abusive relationship with a drug dealer. Asia has to do a press junket of some sort and we watch as she is lusted after and used by the press. It becomes clear that Asia wants to produce a movie called Scarlet Diva. This is not as endlessly reflective as Adaptation. It just appears to be the story of how the movie we are watching came into being. Asia falls in love with a rock star and travels further through her depression.

This movie is in French, Italian in English. That doesn't make it hard to follow. I just could not connect with Asia's character and as the film reaches the crescendo of her desperation, I did not care. The characters are only loosely developed and generally fall into caricature. There are moments that felt like classic Italian cinema, but I don't think Asia has found a voice yet.

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