Carmen: From Silent Film to MTV (Critical Studies 24) by Chris Perriam, Ann Davies

By Chris Perriam, Ann Davies

Given that Prosper Merimee and Georges Bizet (with his librettists Meilhac and Halevy) introduced the determine of the Spanish Carmen to prominence within the 19th century an incredible 80 or so movie types of the tale were made. This selection of essays gathers jointly a different physique of scholarly critique concerned with that Carmen narrative in movie. It covers the phenomenon from a few features: cultural reviews, gender stories, stories in race and illustration, musicology, movie historical past, and the historical past of functionality. The essays take us from the times of silent movie to twenty-first century hip-hop variety, displaying, via various theoretical and ancient views that, regardless of social and cultural transformations-particularly when it comes to gender, sexuality and race-remarkably little has replaced when it comes to simple human wishes and anxieties, not less than as they're represented during this physique of movies. The notion of Carmen's self reliant sexuality as a resource of probability either to males (and sometimes ladies) and to first rate society has been a relentless. Nor has sexual and ethnic otherness misplaced its attraction. nonetheless, the corpus of Carmen motion pictures is greater than an easy recycling of stereotypes and every engages newly with the social and cultural problems with their time.

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1992. Georges Bizet: Carmen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mitchell, W. J. T. 1986. Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Oliver, A. R. 1947. The Encyclopédistes as Critics of Music. New York: Columbia University Press. Panofsky, Erwin. 1999. ‘Style and Medium in the Motion Pictures’ in Braudy, Leo, Gerald and Cohen, Marshall (eds), Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings. 5th edn. New York: Oxford University Press: 279-292. This page intentionally left blank Geraldine Farrar and Cecil B.

In its supposedly civilized form in European society, this social system passes without comment: some women are chattel (the ‘bad’ women whom men believe themselves to be justified in selling to one another), while others are traded by men of ‘honour’ (the ‘good’ women who are supposedly exchanged with a view toward ensuring that they be loved and protected). The weighty implication of Dancaire’s offhand remark about García’s willingness to sell Carmen to José—namely that prostitutes and wives occupy structurally similar positions under current social arrangements in the ‘civilized’ world— are lost on writer and filmmaker alike.

6 The first time I performed Carmen was in Washington, DC with only ten instruments (members of the National Symphony). Although the first run movie palaces would have had at least a chamber orchestra, the smaller theatres would have used a ten-piece ensemble or smaller. The National Symphony players were not disturbed by the missing material: the pianist filled in a lot of the missing textures and harmonies, and they liked playing for a film. The print was Cecil B. DeMille’s own black and white copy.

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