Bright Lights Film Journal

Space Opera

The Los Angeles Times’ Mark Swed takes a long look at some recent film and theater projects that have dealt with classical music – including The Soloist and Francis Coppola’s Tetro – and concludes the most interesting of the lot is the Wooster Group’s theatrical mash-up La Didone (bottom), which combines a 17th Century opera by Francesco Cavalli with the story and look of Mario Bava’s 1965 pop design classic, Planet of the Vampires aka Terrore nello spazio (top):

Pop culture is not wrong in looking at classical art as outsider art. When the pop people get reverent, they usually get sappy. It’s best to butt heads. Like elementary particles accelerating into each other, the art forms will more often than not blow up in your face. But now and then a brand-new particle emerges. That’s what ‘La Didone’ is.”