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The Car Man DVD

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This latest dance version of Carmen comes courtesy of choreographer Matthew Bourne, who has devised his own scenario of Bizet’s opera set in a garage-diner in the American mid-West, circa 1960. The Car Man toured the UK in 2000 finishing with a four-month run to packed houses at the Old Vic. This film treatment details all the excitement of the occasion. The cinematography assists in capturing the atmosphere of Bourne’s treatment--film noir with allusions to Hitchcock--through employment of chiaroscuro. The use of the split-screen technique also enhances the cinematic feel. The music sounds seductive and full-bodied, befitting the new story line (Bourne calls it an “auto-erotic thriller”) in which an enigmatic stranger, Luca, walks into town seducing both Lana (Carmen) and Angelo (Don Jose). A swarthy individual, Luca looks an unlikely dancer until his first solo galvanises the company. The single stage set adapts into eight different permutations, taking us from diner through nightclub and prison and then out on the road in a cinematic finale where the Chevrolet cars of the period are destroyed in a pile up. The period look is further enhanced with the girls in tight-waisted colourful frocks and the men in Brando-esque T-shirts and jeans. The dance ensembles are an extraordinarily versatile group: classical, jazz, modern and flamenco seem natural expressions of their body movements. Will Kemp deserves a special mention for his sensitivite portrayal of Angelo. On the DVD: the soundtrack comes in a choice of stereo or 5.1. surround sound where the subtle employment of percussion instruments in the orchestration makes a telling effect. A picture gallery of 25 stills from the production and a 14-minute interview with Bourne expressing his initial doubt about doing another version of Carmen are further assets. He needn’t have had a qualm. This Car Man is destined to give much pleasure. --Adrian Edwards

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  • Average Rating for The Car Man [2001] - 4 out of 5


    (based on 1 user reviews)
  • The Car Man [2001]
    Bryony

    If you enjoy the work of Matthew Bourne, best known for his male version of Swan Lake, you will love this loose version of Carmen. Set in 50's America it is everything Bourne has become known for - a clever modern interpretation, excellent dance and highly evokative. The male lead is excpetional. When he walks on stage he looks nothing like a dancer but that only adds to the power of his performance. If you like watching stage performances on stage you will love this as the sets are intersting and versatile.

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