Thursday, April 03, 2014

Jean-Luc Godard: Prénom Carmen (1983)

With Prénom Carmen / First Name: Carmen (1983), Jean-Luc Godard strikes again with another memorable, offbeat flick. This one is colorfully shot by master cinematographer Raoul Coutard (with Jean-Bernard Menoud); it's broadly  based on Georges Bizet's four-part opera Carmen (1975), adapted by Anne-Marie Miéville. 

There's almost too much to be said about Prénom Carmen, so I'll keep it short. Screen time seems to develop along at least four converging or interlinking tracks: the uncle, Godard's eccentric doppelgänger (played by Godard);  the ocean and its relentless wave action; a string quartet trying to optimize their interpretation of Ludwig van Beethoven in a grand hotel; and, centrally, Carmen X (Maruschka Detmers) in her various movements. 
Throw in a bank robbery, a poorly planned "terrorist" kidnapping plot and brazen displays of nudity, and  -- presto -- you've got yourself quite a heady mix.
As with most of Godard's films, cherchez la femme -- look for the woman.  Seek and ye shall find. 

Today's Rune: Partnership. 


Charles Gramlich said...

Wow, lots of disparate elements in this one.

jodi said...

Erik-that woman is gorgeous!