Benjamin Millepied Uses Movement to Reinvent ‘Carmen’ on Camera
Critics were divided after the film premiered at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival.for IndieWire, written by David Ehrlich: “‘Carmen’ spans too many borders to feel like it’s standing on solid ground. Yet it’s definitely exhilarating.” bottom. “It’s a shaky composition, an exuberant combination of willowy-moving songs, an ecstatic score, and an all-too-loose narrative.” Lovia Gyarkye wrote in The Hollywood Reporter:.
Over coffee, Millepied talked about the critical reaction to the film, the appeal of ‘Carmen’, and working with actors. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
What made you want to direct films?
I’ve always had a personal hobby of photography.I needed to visually see what I was interested in.I have always loved movies. I remember watching “They shoot horses, right?”and “Music Room” by Satyajit Ray When I was about 9 years old. As a teenager, when I was attending the School of American Ballet, I always went to the movies. I always had this dream in the back of my head about directing a movie.
What is the charm of “Carmen”?
Early on when I started thinking about the story, we had dinner together. [the director] Peter Sellers said he wanted to make a “Carmen” movie. He got kind of passionate and said, “We have to remake it. It’s a terrible story.” i thought he was right. This is a 19th century story in which a woman is punished for her crime of being killed, unable to love or be loved.I was interested in her essence, her freedom, her fire.
I wanted to tell the story of this woman. It definitely had to do with her relationship with her mother, her family history and her relationship with emotions.
Did you think your version was a musical?
I was interested in how to tell a modern story, and I was interested in using music and dance in ways that were uninterrupted, integral rather than ornamental to the narrative. After all, movies tell many stories through movement.