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First Name: Carmen (1983)

Prénom Carmen (original title)
A woman involved with a terrorist group becomes dangerously close to the police officer guarding the bank they plan to rob.

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(scenario), (adaptation)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Carmen X
Jacques Bonnaffé ... Joseph Bonnaffé
... Claire
... Le chef
Pierre-Alain Chapuis
Bertrand Liebert ... Le garde du corps
Alain Bastien-Thiry ... Le valet du grand hôtel (as Alain Bastien)
... Fred (as Hyppolite Girardot)
Odile Roire
Valérie Dréville ... La nourrice / Wet nurse
Christine Pignet ... Femme de la bande à Joseph
Jean-Michel Denis
... L'homme qui mange des yaourts dans les toilettes de la station-service / Man eating jam
Jacques Prat ... Violon (as Quatuor Prat)
Laurent Dangalec ... Violon (as Quatuor Prat)
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Storyline

Carmen is a member of a terrorist gang who falls in love with a young police officer guarding a bank that she and her cohorts try to rob. She leads him on while dragging the two of them closer to their ultimate doom. Jean-Luc Godard intercuts the film with shots of a string quartet practicing Beethoven, and his main protagonist, Carmen, is played by Maruschka Detmers creating a stunning effect in many scenes of extended nudity. Written by Raimundo Ramirez <raimundo@kheldar.com>

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 January 1984 (France)  »

Also Known As:

First Name: Carmen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the shoot-out at the Café de la Paix (the luxurious restaurant of the Grand Hotel Intercontinental), an undisturbed man is reading a large book, holding it so that the cover is shown prominently, several times: 'Nouveau Guide des Paradis Fiscaux', published in 1982, and written by a specialist on Swiss banking. Godard's tongue-in-cheek political comment (in a French-Swiss co-production) may escape some viewers, though. See more »

Quotes

Carmen X: Is your ass clean?
Joseph Bonnaffé: Mine is. And yours?
Carmen X: Mine isn't.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In memoriam small movies See more »

Connections

Version of Carmen (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet n. 14 op. 131
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Quatuor Prat
See more »

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User Reviews

 
those tolderable of art house cinema are bound to love this masterpiece!
31 May 2017 | by See all my reviews

The legendary filmography of Jean-Luc Godard lies somewhere between the four roads of comedy, tragedy, philosophy, and poetry, and "First Name: Carmen" does not disappoint on any of these wide- ranging tonal fronts.

As I have said time and time again, Godard does not make "messy" movies. His films may contain various tonal shifts, but they are always done with expertise, for Godard is a professional juggler of sorts; however, instead of juggling balls in a circus he juggles emotions in the cinema. As funny as it is sad, "First Name: Carmen" certainly shows off some of Godard's finest humor. The absurd opening bank "action" sequence is unexpectedly hilarious as some of Godard's blackest comedic bits take center stage. One hilarious shot contains a janitor nonchalantly cleaning up dead corpses; if such an image tickles your funny bone in any way, you will have a blast with some of this film's funnier moments. Godard, himself, has a supporting role as a highly eccentric filmmaker who spends his time faking illness to avoid making movies and engaging in witty philosophical musings with those who cross his path.

Other sections of the film are crafted with a sharp sense of melancholy as the film's beautifully poignant soundtrack, a majority of which is made up of sensitive violin music of the highest quality, howls in the background. Moments of romance also invade Godard's masterpiece, and they are often portrayed with a relentlessly poetic style. The violin music growing louder, images of waves clashing, the lovers' dialogue going back and forth, coming in and out; Godard explores the beauty of cinema. He takes advantage of every possible trick he can an uses it to an ambitious degree. Godard's films seem to be made for both entertainment and experiment, and "First Name: Carmen" is most certainly a primary example of this. One could watch this once a day and never get bored as they find new things to laugh along with, gawk at, cry to, and think about. Godard explores the most intimate corners of a relationship, the funniest aspects of crime, and the silliest traits of a filmmaker/philosopher. Those who can handle the film's avant garde, genre-bending style will likely soon fall in love with Godard's quirky, romantic, funny, and bizarre tragicomic experiment, while others may just gawk at its endless absurdity and occasionally juvenile imagery and dialogue.


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