Diva

Because of its sleek production values, well-constructed visual language and philosophical undertones, the 1981 French classic Diva gets away with a plot that, on the surface, seems like it came from an aborted Blues Brothers sequel. After a postman (Frédéric Andréi) makes a bootleg concert tape of his favorite opera star (Wilhelmina Wiggins Fernandez), he’s chased by cops, mobsters and Taiwanese record pirates, not to mention flung into the sights of a mysterious playboy (Richard Bohringer) and his equally shadowy mistress (Thuy An Luu).

Director Jean-Jacques Beineix keeps the film feeling more like a thriller than an exercise in zaniness, with an underlying moral story: The postman is in such strange, overwhelming trouble because he tried to rob the opera star of something so precious as her voice. Or maybe it just seems smart and artsy to us because it’s French. 7:30 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For tickets and information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org/film. $6 to $7.
Fri., June 13, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., June 20, 7 p.m.; Fri., June 27, 7 p.m., 2008

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Nick Keppler