Carmen San Diego: Out Of Work And On The Run


A philosophical drama in which nothing dramatic takes place; a production that plugs wordy explanations of content into a cinematic form that looks like an action movie but sounds like a lecture.

In Carmen the script is entirely earnest, but the performances are removed from a stable ground determined by goal-oriented behaviour. It is imperfect according to the categories it appears to activate. The disjunction between what the movie seems to be and what it actually is marks a specific approach to the construction of form and handling of subject matter. Several disparate elements [an educational computer game, the United Nations International Village in San Diego‘s Balboa Park and synthetic stylized performances] are combined with multiple cinematic strategies [metaphoric montage, continuity editing and a durational long take] into what is potentially quite an ugly movie, structurally speaking. At the same time, the dialogue seeks to discuss sincerely the above matters in the context of global image distribution and culture consumption.

This video opened a new path of investigation for Grattan, where scripted dialogue is more blatantly set against the performance requirements that arise from the use of genre. Words are employed to specifically detail ideas and subjects for the purpose of public debate, along with the parallel analysis of the art object at hand.


Feat. Mireya Lucio, Christopher Rivas, Evan Hyde and Tyler Oyer Camera: Travers Jacobs Sound recording: Alex Herboche Direction, editing, sound design and sound mix: Sean Grattan Commissioned as part of the Artists Cinema (New Zealand) with assistance from Creative New Zealand