The look of Godard’s ‘First Name: Carmen’ offsets the cruelty displayed on screen
“If I love you, that’s the end of you.” — Carmen x
Following Passion (1982) and Scenario du film passion (1982), Jean-Luc Godard directed First Name: Carmen (1983), starring Marushka Detmers, Jacques Bonnaffe, and himself. Godard was inspired by Otto Preminger’s Carmen Jones (1954), a musical-comedy about a woman that seduces a soldier ordered to escort her to the authorities. Preminger’s film is an adaptation of a 1943 stage production by Oscar Hammerstein II, which is itself an adaptation of the 1845 novella Carmen by Prospere Merimee. Anne-Marie Mieville was very interested in writing a script that was similar to the spirit of Preminger’s film, and Godard loved that film as well but wanted to change the music. Exit Bizet’s music and enter Beethoven’s “Late Quartets”, which are integral for First Name: Carmen.