First Name: Carmen
(Prénom Carmen)

Screening on Film
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard.
With Maruschka Detmers, Jacques Bonnaffé, Myriem Roussel.
France, 1983, 35mm, color, 85 min.
French with English subtitles.

While many argue that Godard's later films pale in comparison to his seminal work from the 1960s, First Name: Carmen belies this myth. All the classic Godard trademarks are here: fatalism, romantic scorn, socialist rhetoric, visual symbolism, tortured narcissism (with Godard himself playing Carmen's lecherous filmmaker uncle), and a healthy dose of Americanisms. Loosely based on the source of Bizet's opera, this Carmen has its heroine rob a bank in order to fund a film she wants to make. Weaving Beethoven's late quartets with the cacophony of Parisian traffic and high tragedy with comic farce, Carmen becomes at once a parody of the director's own work from the 1960s and a prototype for a new cinema for its own time.

Part of film series

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Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: Directors E–J

Other film series with this film

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Philosophy and Film: Deleuze