Combustible Celluloid
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With: Maruschka Detmers, Jacques Bonnaffé, Myriem Roussel, Hippolyte Girardot, Christophe Odent
Written by: Anne-Marie Miéville
Directed by: Jean-Luc Godard
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: French, with English subtitles
Running Time: 85
Date: 09/01/1983

First Name: Carmen (1983)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

The End of You

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

One of Jean-Luc Godard's more coherent efforts of his later years, First Name: Carmen is supposedly inspired by the opera Carmen. A young woman, Carmen (Maruschka Detmers), participates in a bank robbery and, during it, falls in love with a security guard, Joseph (Jacques Bonnaffé). They hide in a hotel for a while (and are frequently naked), until Carmen moves onto the next thing and increasingly loses interest in him. Godard himself plays "Uncle Jean," a weirdo who likes living in a sanitarium even though he's not sick. Every so often an orchestra is shown, playing snippets of Beethoven for the film's score. Godard's abrupt sound edits and cuts are here, as well as his grumpy commentary on everything about modern civilization, but the crime plot and quick running time make this one actually kinda fun.

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