U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha (2005) (South Africa)

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U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha (2005) (South Africa)

Postby hengcs » Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:12 am



Director: Mark Dornford-May
Cast: Pauline Malefane, Andile Tshoni

It garnered the Best Film in Berlin Film Festival 2005

The official site
see
http://www.u-carmen.com/

As requested, I have rewritten my review ...


Synopsis
The story (as well as the songs) parallels Bizet's opera "Carmen", except that it is set in Khayelitsha of Cape Town, and sung in Xhosa. The female protagonist, Carmen, worked in a cigarette factory, with her Don Jos being a policeman. While others were supposedly crazy over her, she was only determined to seduce this policeman who showed little interest in her initially, but instead concentrated on reading his bible ... The story proceeds on with plots revolving around love, betrayal, and revenge ...

Some thoughts

-- Anyone who watches the film will not deny the powerful singing by the female lead, Pauline Malefane. Not only is this new rendition very well performed, it also has an African flavor ... The rest of the cast (by the theatre company, Dimpho Di Kopane lyric theatre company) and singing should also be credited ...

-- Another thing that most audience will remember is likely the beginning scene, whereby the director focuses on the female protagonist's utterly expressionless face ... and keeps zooming in ... with interesting voice over about what beauty is ... and several interesting lines ... hmmm, with all the justifications, i think the director is also trying to buy over any audience who may not believe/understand why many people are supposed to fall in love with this female lead ... at the end of zooming in, it is interesting where the director takes one, as you will realize/remark, "hey, it makes sense for her not to move" ... ha ha, i won't give that away ... in summary, the opening sequences are particularly strong ...

-- Hmmm, the take is also interesting because it looks more real than choreographed Hollywood or Broadway musicals ... with well synchronized dancing/singing/acting/costumes etc ... This film seems closer to "normal life" (except people keep singing) ... hee hee

-- In terms of casting, the main actress does a good job, with more credits to her singing ... although her acting makes the film feel down to earth and believable, she carries her role rather differently from what many might have gotten accustomed to ... i.e., a more proactive and seductive/sensuous Italian version ... Forgive me, but I think the casting/acting of the male lead was not compelling ... this leads to my next point ...

What could be better ...

-- As the essence of the film is about love and betrayal, I thought there was little chemistry or even sparks between the two main protagonists ... i wonder if the audience would really be convinced by their relationship and really understand why she is so attracted to him ... or the bond (if any) between the two ... sorry ...

Conclusion
Recommended.
Go for the singing ... and to some extent, the new African "take" ... which does not have too much of Hollywood's or Broadway's "choreography" ... hee hee
hengcs
 


Re: U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha (2005) (South Africa)

Postby hengcs » Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:31 am

Since it is so difficult to get the film,
you may like to know it is distributed in Singapore (i.e., legally)

www.comstar.sg/new/catalo...e_no=00276

Maybe the distributor should thank me for helping to promote them ... * just joking * ... ha ha ha ...

PS: Just trying to help local companies out ... given their effort in distributing these films ...
hengcs
 

Re: U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha (2005) (South Africa)

Postby trevor826 » Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:20 am

It has also been released in the UK by Tartan Video, unfortunately I still haven't seen it yet.

Cheers Trev.
trevor826
 

Re: U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha (2005) (South Africa)

Postby A » Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:15 pm

And it has also been released in Germany in a nicely packaged edition. My local library holds a copy of it, but since I'll be moving this week, I don't know when I'll get the opportunity to see it.
A
 

Re: U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha (2005) (South Africa)

Postby A » Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:16 pm

And it has also been released in Germany in a nicely packaged edition. My local library holds a copy of it, but since I'll be moving this week, I don't know when I'll get the opportunity to see it.

Well, the film won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. That should have gotten them enough distribution deals I think, so that the film should be available in quite a lot of countries...
A
 


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