Carlos Saura Dance Trilogy Part 1 - Carmen (1983)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Critic Reviews for Carlos Saura Dance Trilogy Part 1 - Carmen
Carlos Saura's dance version of Bizet's famous opera was nominated for Best Foreign Language Oscar.
Audience Reviews for Carlos Saura Dance Trilogy Part 1 - Carmen
So Much More Attractive Than Belly Dancing This is one of four versions of [i]Carmen[/i] to have come out in 1983. [i]Carmen[/i] is so popular that there are versions of the opera--not the story, mind; the opera--to have been filmed in the silent era. I'm pretty sure I reviewed at least one of them, and I'm quite sure I expressed confusion at the time. There's a certain appeal to the story, I suppose, though it's never been my favourite. Oh, and the music is quite popular. It includes probably some of the best known operatic music, though I'd be fairly willing to be that most people have no idea where it comes from. It's just the combination of the music and the silent film which confuses me. Still, where this version is unique among all the others I've seen is in the inclusion of, you know, people from the culture the original story's about. Here, Antonio (Antonio Gades) is a choreographer/director. Kind of Bob Fosse with castanets. He's putting on a real flamenco production of [i]Carmen[/i], and he's looking for someone new and different to play the title role. He finds Carmen (Laura Del Sol), appropriately enough, and he casts her. From there, the movie starts to blur where the performance begins and the movie's own story ends. Antonio becomes obsessed with Carmen as the script requires. To be fair, I'm not sure if the Carmen of the opera has a husband in jail on drug charges, but yeah. (Hardly anyone seems to have names in this production, which is okay, because I don't remember most of the names of those who do.) Anyway, Cristina (Cristina Hoyos) knows the girl is trouble but can't convince Antonio that he's being used. And so forth. I'm not sure if it's a statement about Gades the actor or Antonio the character, but he's missing a lot of the obsession needed for the role. It may have been the intent that his last action in the film seemed to come out of absolutely nowhere and make no sense, but I really don't think that works for the story. [i]Carmen[/i] is [i]Carmen[/i], of course, and being an opera, it's one of those beautiful studies in the inevitable. Even Bugs Bunny died in the throes of opera. However, Elmer Fudd never showed the slightest doubt that he was going to kill the rabbit. Yes, he was conned; that's the nature of Looney Tunes pulling on it. However, while Antonio is surprised by Carmen's actions, it doesn't feel as though he cares half so much about it as he ought. Other than that, I do think the conceit works. It takes a little getting used to. There are a couple of scenes where you can miss that we've shifted in and out of performance space. Everybody seems inclined to lounge about in their rehearsal clothes all the time, which is not all that unbelievable. Casting also contributes toward the obvious animosity between Carmen and Cristina. It seems likely that Cristina is wishing Antonio would show interest in her, but either way, she wants to protect him from that floozy. There's a male friend of Antonio's (like I said, I didn't much notice names) who reacts much the same way. With the exception of Carmen herself, everyone seems to have known one another for so long that they're all going through motions they've rehearsed whether on or offstage. I am quite serious about my opinion of flamenco versus belly dancing. I think flamenco is cooler. And even if it isn't just cooler, it certainly is at least as cool. The reason it and [i]Carmen[/i] are so suited to one another is that both are about passion. Oh, there's implicit sex in belly dancing, no matter how you're looking at it. Both dances do share the bodily awareness which makes all dance something along the lines of sublimated sex. Indeed, I'm having a hard time explaining exactly what about belly dancing I find so passionate. Maybe it's those foot movements which are why it's about the only performing art where an unpadded stage is desirable, so the footfalls get the right emphasis. Something. Anyway, I'd like to encourage people to watch this so they get to know flamenco better if nothing else.
Carlos Saura Dance Trilogy Part 1 - Carmen Quotes
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