HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Apartment 1BR
1776
Parasite
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Carmen In Flamenco Delicto
Year: 1983
Director: Carlos Saura
Stars: Antonio Gades, Laura del Sol, Paco de Lucía, Marisol, Cristina Hoyos, Juan Antonio Jimenez, José Yepes, Sebastián Moreno, Gómez de Herez, Manolo Sevilla, Antonio Solera, Manuel Rodríguez, Lorenzo Virseda, M. Magdalena, La Bronce, El Fati, Enrique Ortega
Genre: Drama, Romance, MusicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Antonio (Antonio Gades) is a choreographer planning his next big show, which is to stage a flamenco version of Bizet's classic opera Carmen, but he's having trouble finding the right lead for the project: who can sum up all the passions and contradictions of the role and convey them in dance as well? Casting sessions come and go and still his search is fruitless, that is until he attends a flamenco class and notices one pupil arriving late, and when he hears her name is Carmen (Laura del Sol) a lighbulb goes on above his head and he thinks he might have made a discovery. He watches her go through her routines, then after the class is over they are introduced, not knowing this will be a fateful meeting for them both...

For some reason around this time in the mid-nineteen-eighties the story of Carmen, whether based on the original novel or taken from the more celebrated opera, was the subject of three European movies, this one, Jean-Luc Godard's characteristically offbeat version First Name: Carmen, and Francesco Rosi's more conventional telling with most of Bizet's music intact. The music was heard here as well, but director Carlos Saura used it in a different way, certainly it was danced to but mostly heard as recordings on the soundtrack and in one instance actively sent up as the performers host their own spoof bullfight.

In the main, Saura was respectful, but preferred to head off in his own directions, mixing in aspects of the famous story of jealousy and murder to a more realistic variation on what went on behind the scenes when putting on a flamenco show. Curiously, we never got to see the final result, so while there were scenes where some dancers were in costume, and others where we were offered an idea of how the actual performance would look, Saura was more keen on combining the two narratives so, for example, there would be a sequence which started naturally, say a card game, then it would transform into a routine with the assembled hoofing around in a smooth transition from one fiction to another.

By the end, we're not even sure if the troupe are certain of what it real and what is part of the opera, which does have the drama building to an anticlimax with much the same ending as the original, yet somehow less convincing as we are never wholly buying into the idea that Antonio's obsession with the performance would lead him to adopt the role of the male romantic lead in real life as well. Except that of course, none of this is real life, and there's a postmodern air to much of what is played out which could have been tricksy but in effect tends towards the melodramatic. If it was the dancing you were here for, you would not be let down, Saura had a very musical sensibility and that was exhibited in works such as these: some link Carmen as the middle section of a flamenco trilogy from the director.

Famed Spanish dancer Antonio Gades demonstrated why he was as renowned as he was, and newcomer Laura del Sol (perhaps best known internationally as the hostage in cult gangster movie The Hit) kept up with him admirably, though the parts where they had to act out their affair dragged a little too much than intended, not that it was too long between the musical numbers, but that was what we were here for, nonetheless. Saura experimented with the audience's expectations as there were assuredly moments which were traditional in their staging, some performers even dressed up in the kind of clobber you'd most associate with flamenco (only one instance of mass castanet clicking, however), whereas at other times his cast would just be wearing their rehearsal clothes, and you could tell it was 1983 by the sheer plethora of legwarmers on the female dancers. By dissecting the process of staging Carmen this really fell between two stools, pulled alternately to a scientific examination of the creativity involved, and presenting a Carmenesque, torrid love story. Music by Paco de Lucía.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1329 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: