Archive for April 3rd, 2012

by Allan Fish

(Hong Kong 1960 128m) DVD3

Aka. Ye mei gui zhi lian

Love is just an ordinary thing

p  Robert Chung  d  Wang Tian-lin  w  Quin Yifu  ph  Ming Huang  ed  Wang Zhaoxi  m  Min Yao, Ryoichi Hattori  art  Fei Boyi

Grace Chang (Deng Sijia), Yang Chang (Lian Hanhua), Ta Lei (Old Wang), Li Ma (Old Tian), Liu Enjia (Fat Lin), Shai-Fei Ouyang (Hanhua’s mother), Feng Su (Weng Suxin), Shen Yun (Li Meimei), Tang Ti (Cyclops), Ching Tien (Xiao Liu), Lai Wang (Xueli), Ma Xiaonong (Wang’s wife),

The first Carmen I ever saw on screen, believe it or not, was Cecil B.de Mille’s silent from 1915.  Famous opera star Geraldine Farrar played the title role and did so very well, and while some may find it baffling that an opera star would appear in a silent film, one has to recall that in 1915 the notion of stardom was first being explored on the silver screen and there was a rush to turn great stars of other spheres (theatre, opera, popular music, vaudeville) into film stars.  Other Carmens would follow, from another silent version by Feyder to a bizarre mess called The Loves of Carmen with Rita Hayworth – Carmen would always seem redundant after Gilda.  Throw in Carmen Jones, Preminger’s flawed updating of Bizet with Dorothy Dandridge and Pearl Bailey.  Carlos Saura took it on and there was a very fine film of the original opera by Francesco Rosi with Placido Domingo under the thrall of Julia Migenes-Johnson.  (more…)

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