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The Car Man (Matthew Bourne)
The Car Man
Matthew Bourne
Actors: Alan Vincent, Saranne Curtin, Will Kemp, Etta Murfitt, Scott Ambler
Director: Ross MacGibbon
Genres: Indie & Art House, Television, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2003     1hr 30min

This new musical dance sensation uses the stirring and passionate music of Bizet's Carmen as the basis for a completely new and original tale! The dreams and passions of a small community are shattered by the arrival of ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Alan Vincent, Saranne Curtin, Will Kemp, Etta Murfitt, Scott Ambler
Director: Ross MacGibbon
Creators: James Bicknell, Andrew J. Cohen, Gordon Baskerville, Katharine Doré
Genres: Indie & Art House, Television, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Television, Musicals
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
DVD Release Date: 05/13/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2001
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, English

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Movie Reviews

Most interesting and engaging!
Bunny Man! | Seattle, WA USA | 04/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is NOT your traditional ballet. It is, however, gripping and entrancing. The dancers are good, and the choreography imaginative. Our attention never wandered.

The plot of this "auto-erotic" dance thriller is not totally linear, but it is clearly drawn. We are interested in the characters and their interactions. We find considerable beauty as well.

My only quarrel with this presentation is the rapid cutting. I wish the camera had been able to linger longer without all the constant motion.
Raymond Salazar | San Francisco,CA | 09/09/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This is a terribly disappointing video. I was expecting to see some incredible dancing. Instead, what we have throughout this recording, are close-ups of head and shoulders and a few seconds of group/long shots. I actually started counting the seconds a camera held a position and the longest length of time was 8 seconds - and that's including the lyrical passages. The group is passionate and attractive. The costumes and sets are terrific. If only the cameras could stay still. I'm sure this performance was thrilling in the theater. Major dissapointment."
Modern Dance at its Near Hottest
James M. Rogers | Seattle, WA | 06/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I hadn't seen Bourne's "Swan Lake" nor knew anything of it before seeing "Car Man," so I had no expectations.

And because of that, I found myself either gasping or holding my breath at times. I love modern dance, and was not disappointed. The sensuality and steaminess within the dance only hightened my reaction towards this show. The story is simple to say the least... but then, it's based on a simple opera. This is a dynamite show and definitely worth the attention.

(Please note: The review above is for that of the play. I have not seen the actual video noted here. Others' negative critiques may very well be agreeable.)"
Bourne at his best marred by distracting camera movement.
RENS | Dover, NH USA | 12/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I agree with some of the previous reviewers: this is Matthew Bourne at his best: he's a genius of a story-teller and choreographer. His Swan Lake has become a top notch variation on a classic ballet and his recent Nutcracker is bound to become the same. For those of us who have no chance of ever seeing this production staged in a theater, this DVD is not to be missed. I find watching it arousing (in the full meaning of the word), emotionally shattering, and ultimately cleansing in the manner of a classic tragedy.

I agree with others of the previous reviewers: the nervous, MTV style camera work distracts from the dancing and the overall composition of this brilliant theater piece. In his commentary Bourne offers a sort of reasoning for the hyperactive cutting back and forth but it comes across as an after-the-fact attempt to save the integrity of his own work. There are indeed too many close-ups that prevent the viewer from seeing the dancers dance, and just as the eye settles on a movement the camera shifts. BUT I found that on second viewing I could watch sections of the DVD in slow motion without the sound track and could see and appreciate a lot more of Bourne's remarkable sense of pattern and movement and the terrific discipline and energy of the dancers.

I give this DVD five stars because this is the only version I am ever likely to see and even with its directorial flaws it conveys the high artistry and erotic energy of not only Bourne's reworking of Bizet's Carmen but also the essence of the original opera.

I think Bourne's work has staying power and that we will treasure his productions over the years, above all perhaps the magnificent Swan Lake. But where is the DVD of his Cinderella set in WWII London?