Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I find The Fifth Element is an underrated sci fi film. The effects are extraordinary, and the writing crisp (even if the plot is somewhat recycled). The use of odd-man-out super-models as character actors really worked for me.

But this scene, with the "Diva" Plavalaguna was outstanding. I saw this movie for the first time at the AMC Union Station, a seven-screen movie theater in Washington, D.C., that catered primarily to a poor and working-class neighborhood. The audience routinely shouted at the screen, hooted, yelled, talked during the show, etc.

Sure enough, the audience was laughing at the film (often in inappropritte places), hooting, rustling bags of potato chips, getting up and moving about, etc.

They loved Chris Rock, however. And Chris Rock's character was making all sorts of witty insults about various stars and VIPs as he and Bruce Willis settled down for the performance by the Diva.

The audience in my movie theater kind of quieted down a bit when the Diva came on screen. French actress Maiwenn Le Besco had such a unique look... The Diva then begins to sing "Il dolce suono", an aria from Gaetano Donizetti's opera Lucia di Lammermoor. (The part is sung by soprano Inva Mula.)

You could hear a pin drop. The audience was MESMERIZED.

That's good cinema. Say what you will about the film as a whole, when you grab an audience full of teenagers and people who could care less about film, and hold them spellbound for five minutes -- that's good cinema.

The Diva then transforms the aria into a semi-rap song, listed on the soundtrack as "The Diva Dance". The audience cheered and clapped when it was over.

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