Bret Easton Ellis brings his trademark violence, debauchery and excess to a new world -- opera -- in this thrilling romp of a film he created for the Paris Opera.
The "American Pyscho" director created the film, "Figaro," for the Opera's Troisieme Scene (Third Stage), a digital platform that gives creatives a chance to showcase their work. Launched last year by Dimitri Chamblas as part of the ballet direction of Benjamin Millepied, it has already hosted films directed by directors, photographers, and artists.
In the film, all set to music from "The Barber of Seville," a nervous young opera singer (played by actor Philip Rhys) loses his voice during an opera audition. He's excused, and leaves the building, but in a fit of mortification he goes off on a bender of spectacular proportions, a night involving heavy drinking, car theft, sexual trysts of multiple kinds, fighting and more. Next day, he turns up again at the audition looking wild-eyed and debauched -- but will he be able to sing after all that? You'll be watching, enthralled, to the end, whether or not you're an opera fan.
In a statement, Ellis said: "I was very flattered to be approached by the Paris Opera. And surprised that they gave me so much freedom. I wanted to do something slightly humorous and to play with the film medium against an opera track. I don't think it's very dissimilar thematically from what I'm usually attracted to -- there's a bit of decadence at play here but the film doesn't take itself too seriously. There was an energy on the set that was infectious and funny and hopefully you can get that from watching Figaro."