CINEMA, 35 mm _ Lubitsch without the Lubitsch touch. If you often find the adjectif "modern" next to his name, this film did not age very well. Lola Negri is the right cast with her strong personality but the film never really works, not in drama nor in comedy. The editing is quite conservative as well, except the last sequence. For a better "Carmen", go and watch Preminger´s version from the fifties.
Early Lubitsch curiosity, tediously long at 80 min. (not sure which shorter versions others have been seeing). NB: This is not a comedy; it's pure, unadulterated drama. Saw a woefully unrestored print with English intertitles. From what little I could make out, I'd say Pola Negri was pretty good. This would have been unwatchable without Bizet's "Carmen" added on. [yt]
Ok, I can't resist this comparison. From Isaiah Berlin's oversimplifying essay: "There is a line among the fragments of the Greek poet Archilochus which says: 'The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing'. Scholars have differed about the correct interpretation of these dark words, which may mean no more than that the fox, for all his cunning, is defeated by the hedgehog's one defense. But, taken
Pola Negri e un vulcan cu versanţii îmbrăcaţi în orhidei arzânde. Mereu mi-a plăcut seducţia ei cam băieţoasă, mai caldă, mai uşoară, mai discontinuă decât aceea mai rece, mai grea, dar pe alocuri mai gingaşă, a Astei Nielsen. Cu Carmen, Lubitsch pare să reia prefreinţa lui pentru lucrurile ilogice ale sferei omeneşti, cele care fac sublunaritatea să iasă mereu din tot felul de programări asidui, aruncîndu-le în haos