Carmen revient au pays
Keisuke Kinoshita, Japan, 1951
Carmen Comes Home was the first colour film in Japanese cinema.
Instead of just being satisfied with using the seductive quality of this new technique of colourisation in a purely realist and naturalistic manner, Keisuke Kinoshita uses colour as an essential element of his scenario. The film takes place in a country village in the mountains. At the start of the film the daughter of one of the villagers arrives home with a friend. They have come from Tokyo where they are dancers in a cabaret / striptease. Kinoshita characterises the two girls with brightly coloured clothing and very sophisticated looking make up, which clashes with the surrounding population, clad, as they are in grey and dull colours, and for whom colours are an eccentricity.
In this extract they deliver a musical dance routine, but so that the décor is not artificial, such as in a theatre, nature herself provides the backdrop for these two colourful characters. The contrast between the soft colours of nature, with the actual passage of beautiful white clouds, which the film maker opportunistically made the most of, and the vivid primary colours of the young women gives the scene a visual charm, which is innovative, considering that this is both his and his nation’s first coloured feature filmr.