Prénom Carmen (1983)

Prénom Carmen (Jean-Luc Godard, 1983)

Personnally adapted from the opera Carmen, Prénom Carmen (First Name: Carmen) tells the story of a young woman, Carmen (Maruschka Detmers), who participate in many robberies with a group that ressembles of a group of rebels or mercenaries. When in an assault to rob a bank she promply falls in love with of the guards; Joseph (Jacques Bonnaffé). To live their lives together they must escape and they go hide outside of Paris at her internate uncle's (Jean-Luc Godard) house. But with the time passing by, their passion changes and their relationship becames a Love/Hate one. Carmen will betray Joseph and exclude him from all the plans of her group of robbers.

The many scenes including the two lovers remembers Carl Th.Dreyer's Gertrud, the two characters take still poses that reflects the evolution of the relationship. It reveals how the film should be read and how Godard was thinking it too. In 1983, Godard was more than in complete possession of his Art, he was Cinema. Every frame and every editing of Prénom Carmen is dense and full of meanings. Godard's mastery, editing, is fully exploited here and many scenes are sliced up so well with the concertos intermissions and the many changes of scenery.
Prénom Carmen is the kind of film you let yourself immerse into it. However, it's also the kind you must watch again and rewatch again, because the many meanings and levels of the story just gets better everytime. One last thing, the copy of Prénom Carmen I had in hand was not in the ultimate condition, but I had a recommendation of the 3-discs Jean-Luc Godard Boxset from Lions Gate. It comes with Détective and Passion two other notable 1980's films from Godard.

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