This is so good. It is refreshingly brilliant.
In this version, the music and singing of the Opera by Georges Bizet, is largely heard in the background, and most of the action takes place in the form of a dance rehersal, in casual contemporary dress.
A dance Director and choreographer Antonio Gades, is seeking the ideal Carmen for his forthcomming production, and the arrival of a young unconventional flirtatious dancer, Laura del Sol, turns his emotions into chaos, and the rehersals follow the story of the Opera.
The dancing is tremendous, and Flamenco and Flamingo Dancers and Singers and Guitarists, are featured as they are in the street festivals, at the rehersals, and at Antonio's Birthday Party.
There is a comical Bull fight mimed by two of Antonio's friends at the party, where another friend tries to advise him against his emotional attachment to the girl, who is married to a man recently released from Prison.
Very cleverly, scenes which appear to be in the present day reality, turn into scenes from the Opera rehersal, as a double reality with a twist.
The photography is beautiful and dramatic, and the acting portrays powerful repressed passion, which occasionally erupts.
If one is familiar with conventional productions of the Opera, it is difficult not fill in the gaps as it were, and view this film against a background of elaborate costumes and scenery. Maybe this is what the Spanish Director Carlos Saura wants, so that the viewer can appreciate his poetic and simpified deviation from any preconceived ideas, all the better.
It is performed in Spanish, with English subtitles, and unfortunately, the only extra is the Theatrical Trailer.
This Bafta award winning interpretation of Carmen, is certainly one not to overlook.