La Tragédie de Carmen (Peter Brook, 1983) and embodimentpurchase PDF
Authors: Phil Powrie
Carmen, Peter Brook, embodiment, voice, opera
Peter Brook made three films of his theatrical version of Carmen, along with several other versions in the period 1983–84 (notably Godard, Saura and Rosi). Brook’s Carmen was intended to be a radical, anti-operatic reinterpretation of the narrative, where sound and image were grounded and integrated in myth and ritual. The past with which Brook was so keen to dispense returns, however; his film versions are indebted to older art forms (bourgeois melodrama, early cinema) which considerably minimize his version’s radical potential. More important still, however, is the fact that in the film versions, the body of Carmen incarnated in song is more obviously present than in the theatrical versions (mainly through the insistent use of close-up), leading to a fascination and fetishization of Carmen’s body, all the more so because Brook tries to minimize the ‘operatic’. His aim of integrating sound and image collapses, therefore, as Carmen’s body assumes more importance than her voice; his versions seem much less concerned with the sexual politics of the period than Godard’s and Rosi’s versions.