First name Carmen

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German title First name Carmen
Original title Prénom Carmen
Country of production France
original language French
Publishing year 1983
length 85 minutes
Director Jean-Luc Godard
script Anne-Marie Miéville
production Alain Sarde
music Pieces by Beethoven
camera Raoul Coutard
Jean-Bernard Menoud
cut Fabienne Alvarez
Suzanne Lang-Willar

First name Carmen ( Prénom Carmen ) is a French feature film directed by Jean-Luc Godard from 1983 . It shows Maruschka Detmers from the Netherlands in her first film role. Godard's film differs significantly from the other two Carmen films of the same season, Carmen by Carlos Saura and Carmen by Francesco Rosi. The film is only loosely based on the plot of the well-known Carmen subject. Georges Bizet's Carmen music can only be heard for a few seconds in the film; Godard constructed the film around Beethoven's string quartets.


In France today. The young Carmen visits her uncle Jeannot, who was once a great film director, in the psychiatric clinic. She asks him to let her and the film crew, with whom she supposedly wants to shoot an experimental film, use his house by the sea. In doing so, she evades his attempts to grope her. The elderly gentleman gives her the keys. In fact, their troop is a gang that wants to rob a bank.

When the gang pulls through the robbery, the policeman Joseph, who has shown up in front of the institute, gives them a fight. Several people die in the hail of bullets. Carmen and Joseph attack each other in close combat and fall in love. Handcuffed together, they flee together to the house by the sea. That's where they make love. Parallel to the story about Carmen, there are fades into the rehearsals of a string quartet. His cellist Claire is a former lover of Joseph. For the next coup, the gang rents a suite of a Paris luxury hotel, disguised as film people. They pretend to Uncle Jeannot that he is the director of the film, but the uncle is very skeptical about the project. Joseph wants Carmen to himself and cannot cope with the fact that she always decides for herself whether they sleep together. The gang intends to kidnap an industrialist's daughter. A mess arises during implementation. The mad Joseph kills Carmen.


The 1985 Fischer Film Almanach interpreted Godard's films "in recent years" as a return to the cinema. He used his uncle character for "relaxed, very personal appearances with biting statements about politics, film and current affairs." Godard also saw Zoom back in the cinemas. Far from mainstream and fashion, but closer to it than already, is "more intense than it has been in a long time, the result of decades of preoccupation with image and sound in their connection and in their independence." The mass media, especially television, " did not bring us closer to the world, but moved it further away or even replaced it. ”Godard leads us back to reality. First name Carmen “is sound film, audio film. The sound is perhaps seldom before, music, noise and silence are the central design principles of a film. ”Still, the images are“ as fascinating as the sound. ”Another characteristic is“ the breaking of seriousness into grotesque, burlesque elements and the exaggeration of the comic back to the tragic. ”For the film service , the film was“ melancholy and comedy at the same time ”, with a“ poetry of the visual language that turns the film into poetry and music. ” First name Carmen goes beyond the limitations of conventional entertainment films . "Opposites are tamed in an extraordinarily artistic composition that challenges a multitude of interpretive approaches."

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Fischer Film Almanach 1985, pp. 206-207
  2. ^ Nikolaus Loretz: Prénom Carmen . In: Zoom No. 3/1984, pp. 13-16
  3. ^ J. Schnelle: first name Carmen . In: film-dienst , No. 15/1984