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4.7 out of 5 stars32
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 20 April 2012
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.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 January 2012
I love the opera 'Carmen' of which I have several versions. I saw this and after reading the other reviews I decided to try it. I am really pleased I did, the dancing is fantastic mixed with some guitar and background music from the opera. The story takes a dancer called Carmen and shows how she is actually very similar to Carmen in the opera. Whether you like Carmen the opera or not I am sure you will like this film.
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on 24 June 2010
I first saw this film in the 1980's and memories of the dances have haunted me ever since. Having bought it and seen it again it still haunts. The scene of the quarrel and fight in the cigarette factory is perfect and totally riveting, the scene where the dancers are rehearsed into the ground almost equals it.
The dissolving of the boundary between the play being rehearsed and "reality" intrigues rather than confuses.
I've always found it difficult to have any sympathy with Don Jose in the opera, he always seems so weak-willed. Gades whilst a much better dancer than an actor portrays a much stronger character, clearly dynamic in life away from Carmen and able to stand back and analyse the compulsion he has for a woman whose defects he sees clearly.
So some stiff acting and a few more mind blowing dances wouldn't go amiss but gripping, moving and at times very exciting. I prefer it to Bizet's original.
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VINE VOICEon 25 April 2013
This is a 1983 version of the classic tale of love and betrayal, inspired by both the original book, and the Bizet opera.
This is officially part of director Carlos Saura's `Flamenco trilogy', and brings the well-known story into the world of the top Flamenco troupe in Spain. In the film, the director of this production falls madly in love with the young dancer that he has cast as Carmen, and the plot follows that of the original, with betrayal, and murder. The gorgeous Laura del Sol stars in the title role, but the real star is the music. The haunting opera score translated to guitars and hand-claps, and the stifling atmosphere of the dance studio, well reflected in the tensions amongst the cast.
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on 22 April 2011
Carmen - irresistably sexy but promiscuous and a liar. The dancer chosen for the role turns out to be just like her. Story within a story. The setting - rehearsal rooms of a flamenco ballet company. I don't usually like flamenco, BUT director/dancer Antonio Gades was Something Else. He added classical and modern ballet to flamenco and lifted it onto an entirely new level. The whole film is stunning. Not only the knife fight in the cigar factory, every dance piece grabs the emotions by the throat. And Gades himself is at his charismatic, breathtaking best. I watched this with a group of friends who had never heard of him. When it ended... "Wow!"
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on 13 April 2013
Most notable for incredible flamenco correography and dancing. The film as a whole is fairly boring and is too absorbed in peoples' egos, but look past this and see some truly wonderful dancing.
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on 28 December 2014
Passionately, exquisitely danced and acted by the late Flamenco master Antonio Gades and his troupe. Your pulse races and your feet twitch to join the wild, stamping fire....the scene in the tobacco factory especially is the most electrifying dance episode of any I have seen. The beauty of Gades and the sensual Laura de Sol is spellbinding, and the vitality of the relationships within the troupe as compelling as the story - this is for me the definitive Carmen, although unconventional-it is theatre within theatre, unforgettable ,with its own power and magic.
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on 3 November 2011
A breathtaking production of this brilliant opera with stunning flamenco dancing and music. Watch out for Paco de Lucia. Simply mind-blowing!
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on 12 August 2015
A very effective dance drama on two levels, played out on the stage and in life making for compulsive viewing. The flamenco dancing is excellent with very good teachers coaching the dancers in the studio. This gives a good background to a better appreciation of flamenco. The acting and the filming are both excellent. I recommend this DVD to any lover of dance.
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on 28 March 2013
If you like Flamenco - if you like Carmen - you will love this. The music and dancing are mesmerising and the plot weaves in and out of Carmen and the Spanish dance troupe's attempts to capture the essence and passion of the opera. And if you fancy yet another modern era rendition of Carmen, try "Carmen Jones"!
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