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 Post subject: The Car Man - on TV
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2001 1:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review in Scotland on Sunday.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>HAVING ruffled the ballet establishment’s feathers with his all-male flock in Swan Lake, transported La Sylphide from the glens of Romantic fantasy to the gritty reality of a Glasgow housing scheme and set Cinderella in Blitz-blasted London, choreographer Matthew Bourne turned his attention to Carmen. Or rather, The Car Man, as Bourne’s dance theatre piece (originally created for Adventures in Motion pictures a few years ago) emerged. <BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><A HREF="http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1721062001&rware=OXUAPMZDNGJV&CQ_CUR_DOCUMENT=1" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><P>I have recorded this to watch - has anyone seen it yet? Did it translate well onto the small screen?


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 Post subject: Re: The Car Man - on TV
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2001 4:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<B>A few quick thoughts</B><P>Overall I thought it worked very well. It was the same cast I saw in the theatre - Vincent/Kemp/Ambler/Curtin/Murfitt, but it impressed me more consistently than the Old Vic production. There was some pruning and I noticed that the Martha Graham spoof in the nightclub has been cut, which keeps the narrative drive revving on all cylinders. It also makes the mood of the second half more consistently dark and this strengthens the dramatic quality. I'd be interested to know whether this sequence was also dropped for the LA visit. <P>The sets for this studio version, as for the theatre, are by Lez Brotherston and provided an atmospheric frame for the dance in the expanded space available. Direction is credited jointly to Ross MacGibbon, one of the leading dance film makers in the UK, and Matthew Bourne. Jump cuts a la 'Moulin Rouge' were very much to the fore and in the fast sections the longest shot was 3 seconds. As is invariably the case with dance on screen the ensemble sections were the trickiest to pull off and this was particularly true in the opening sequence where the two Directors focussed on characterisation, especially of Scott Ambler's over-weight husband, rather than the dynamic dance.<P>The duets provided ample compensation and, as in the stage production, it was the relationship between Angelo and Rita, danced by Will Kemp and Etta Murfitt here, that rang the loudest bells for me both choregraphically and emotionally. Alan Vincent's effortlessly macho dancing wasn't always filmed to best effect, but his multi-layered characterisation provided the catalyst for the tragic events. Scott Ambler's portrayal is effective and I'm amazed how the handsome Mr Ambler can make himself so look repulsive. <P>I'm sure 'The Car Man' will sell well on video, DVD and to TV channels around the world. It is one of those accesible, but not lightweight works, which just might persuade non-dance people that this is an art form that they can enjoy in the theatre.<P> Image <BR><small>Bourne shows how he wants a certain move done in one of Car Man's pas de deux featuring Will Kemp as Angelo and Heather Habens as his girlfriend Rita</small> <P>Just in case there is anyone here who hasn't found our 'AMP in LA' Special, here is <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/amp-la2001/index.html" TARGET=_blank><B>the link</B></A>. <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited December 25, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Car Man - on TV
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2001 4:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: London
Thanks, Stuart. I'm sorry I missed the film version having enjoyed the stage version. the stage was small and I would have been interested to see the difference with a studio version.


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 Post subject: Re: The Car Man - on TV
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2001 7:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Barstow CA USA
In answer to your question about the Martha Graham spoof - it was part of the LA and U.S. tour production. I really injoyed it and the various dancers pulled it off well.<P>Some of the dancers that I spoke with were less than thrilled by the super fast cuts and the focus on one character instead of the ensemble dancing in the film. I think dance films should have the emphasis on dance and not fast cuts and too many close-ups. Car Man doesn't need that to create excitement as it is exciting enough on its own.<P>I can't wait to see it on DVD and I hope it arrives in the U.S market soon!


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 Post subject: Re: The Car Man - on TV
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2001 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 2172
Location: London
Filming dance well is rarely seen. I have seen a tango sequence filmed in sections - one number repeated twice with the feet filmed to begin with and then longer distance body shots - and then edited separately from the music. As you can imagine, the carefully crafted steps interpreting the drama, became just steps very approximately corresponding to the music.


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