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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.

Director:

Jean-Luc Godard

Writers:

Anne-Marie Miéville (scenario), Anne-Marie Miéville (adaptation)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maruschka Detmers ... Carmen X
Jacques Bonnaffé Jacques Bonnaffé ... Joseph / Bank Guard
Myriem Roussel ... Claire
Christophe Odent ... Le chef / Leader
Pierre-Alain Chapuis Pierre-Alain Chapuis
Bertrand Liebert Bertrand Liebert ... Le garde du corps / The bodyguard
Alain Bastien-Thiry Alain Bastien-Thiry ... Le valet du grand hôtel / The valet of the big hotel (as Alain Bastien)
Hippolyte Girardot ... Fred (as Hyppolite Girardot)
Odile Roire Odile Roire
Valérie Dréville Valérie Dréville ... La nourrice / Wet nurse
Christine Pignet Christine Pignet ... Femme de la bande à Joseph
Jean-Michel Denis Jean-Michel Denis
Jacques Villeret ... L'homme qui mange du yaourt / The man who eats yogurt
Jacques Prat Jacques Prat ... Violon (as Quatuor Prat)
Laurent Dangalec 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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

11 January 1984 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

First Name: Carmen See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sara Films,JLG Films,Films A2 See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet n. 15 op. 132
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Quatuor Prat
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the best Godard films
26 June 2004 | by MisterWhiplashSee all my reviews

First Name: Carmen is an enthralling hybrid for director/actor Jean-Luc Godard and screenwriter (and frequent collaborator) Anne-Marie Mieville. After almost a decade of weird, philosophical experimentation, they took on the opera of Carmen (the original story of which, unfortunately, I am not very knowledgeable of) and deconstructed it with some amusing self-awareness ("Uncle" Jean-Luc Godard at the start of the film is in a hospital of sorts, over-staying his welcome), while going back to Godard's olden days of movies with lovers on the run.

This time the lovers meet by accident and chance- Carmen X (the alluring and dangerous Maruschka Detmers in a controlled, if downtrodden debut acting role) asks of her uncle Jean if she can use his beach-side house to make a film with some friends. He agrees, though not knowing she's apart of a terrorist gang that robs a bank. During the robbery she has a shoot-out, and kiss, with Joseph (Jacques Bonnaffe, whose performance shifts from bizarre to intense and then believable) the security guard. They hide out for a little while, becoming more involved, while Carmen knows at the same time his uncle prepares to make his comeback film after being washed up for so long, her terrorist friends are planning another scheme.

The acting ranges from forceful to observant, from a little boring to a little ridiculous, but like in Godard's 60's films the actors contribute to Godard's documentary style feel (of which he calls a documentary which is 'fictional'). And Godard is able to get a few laughs during his few scenes on camera, even as he spouts a few quotes that make a viewer dig in their minds for a meaning. Accompanied with evocative and sweet late-night shots of cars and a train in Paris, are shots of the ocean, which contributes as the film's main flaw for me (I kept on saying, yeah the sea looks nice, but what's the point he's getting at here- is it the characters or himself that likes staring at the sea?).

Nevertheless, the compositions are no less than on par with what to be expected from Godard (via the great Raoul Coutard and Jean-Bernard Menoud), and the emotionally charged musical selections from Beethoven and Bizet to Tom Waits are pulled off as a successful, often emotional experiment as the footage of the string musicians are inserted several times. Overall, 'Carmen', however little or much it follows it's source, is a fine piece of art-type of cinema, where romanticism and cynical humor plays as much of a role as the story.


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