Carlos 2010 NR

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(31) IMDb 7.7/10
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Olivier Assayas electrified the Cannes Film Festival with CARLOS, his epic and definitive portrait of the notorious international terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal, who masterminded a wave of terror attacks in Europe and the Middle East in the '70s and '80s.

Starring:
Édgar Ramírez, Alexander Scheer
Runtime:
2 hours 46 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

Carlos

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director Olivier Assayas
Starring Édgar Ramírez, Alexander Scheer
Supporting actors Fadi Abi Samra, Lamia Ahmed, Karam Ghossein, Liane Sellerer, Philippe Tran, Ahmad Kaabour, Talal El-Jordi, Juana Acosta, Nora von Waldstätten, Christoph Bach, Rodney El Haddad, Julia Hummer, Antoine Balabane, Rami Farah, Aljoscha Stadelmann, Zeid Hamdan, Fadi Yanni Turk, Katharina Schüttler
Studio IFC Films
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By K. Gordon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 21, 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Fascinating 5 hour plus, 3 part film about Carlos the Jackal (although
he never actually called himself that) the headline grabbing terrorist
of the 70s and 80s.

With little exposition, we're dropped into a whirlwind of violence,
self-aggrandizement, sexual seduction, and power games, moving at an
almost dizzying speed. The film allows us to slowly figure out Carlos,
instead of explain him in a simple facile way.

While never sympathetic, somehow the amazing Edgar Rameriez allows us
to feel for this id and ego driven creature, powered far more by the
need for attention and adulation (whether from women or the press) than
by true belief. Indeed, one of the most interesting things about the
film is how (intentionally) shallow and hollow Carlos's political
monologues ring.

The last 1/3 is the slowest and hardest to sit through. Carlos's slow
decline into ineffectiveness and unimportance is sometimes patience
trying. But Rob Nelson, in his excellent Village Voice review makes a
strong argument that this is 1) unavoidable after the high paced rush
of the first two parts and 2) part of the point of the film; without
his fixes of women and power there wasn't much to Carlos, and without
them both he and we want it to be over.

This is a film I'd like to see again. While I don't quite agree (yet)
with the many critics who have hailed this as of the best films of last
10 years, I do think it's a challenging, brilliantly acted, wonderfully
made film, that gives context both to modern terrorism and recent world
history. Add to that, an exploration of the blurring fine line between
power and uncontrolled narcissism that seems to dog leaders (especially
male) of all political stripes from Hitler to Bill Clinton to George
Bush to Carlos.

That's a lot to successfully cover, even in 5 hours.
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Format: Blu-ray
More than any other film in 2010, Olivier Assayas "Carlos" has made the rounds. This comprehensive biopic about renowned Venezuelan terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez (also known as Carlos) has swept the globe in various editions at various lengths. Shown on the film festival circuit (Cannes, Telluride, New York) largely intact and running over 5 hours, there is also an international film version (or more than one) clocking in at about 3 hours, a U.S. film presentation in two parts, and there is the U.S. television mini-series presentation (by Sundance Channel) that came with three distinct parts and ran about 5 and a half hours. For the purposes of this discussion, I will be referencing the U.S. mini-series presentation because, at least in length, it seems to be the definitive and comprehensive version and the edition Criterion is covering in the Director's Approved release. However, we in the U.S. still seem to be confused about whether we call this a film or a TV event with Golden Globe and Screen Actor Guild nominations in the TV categories but the Los Angeles and New York film critics distinguishing "Carlos" in the film classification. In the end, however, it's all really semantics--I just wanted to make a big deal as there are many different versions of the film floating on the international DVD market. Criterion is bringing forth the full length film that Assayas envisioned.

Telling the story of Carlos, better known as "The Jackal" (even though the screenplay never acknowledges this nickname), the film has much to say about the rise of terrorism and its evolution into the modern political structure. I really do think "Carlos" is well served by the separation in the three part presentation.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cubist on October 2, 2011
Format: DVD
Carlos is a towering achievement, a fascinating study of a man who was a reflection of the times in which he lived in and is embodied by Edgar Ramirez's powerful performance spanning several decades.

The first disc includes a theatrical trailer.

The second disc starts off with "Shooting the OPEC Sequence," a 22-minute featurette examining how Olivier Assayas shot Carlos and his team's raid on the OPEC headquarters on December 21, 1975. The director offers his thoughts on what he hoped to achieve with the film over the footage of the cast and crew working on location. This extra provides some insight into his working methods.

There is an interview with Denis Lenoir, one of the film's two cinematographers. He shot the second half of Carlos and talks about his approach towards the job. He didn't prepare much for the film because he came in halfway through and goes into some of the technical aspects (i.e. film stock, lighting, etc.). Lenoir also talks about how Assayas works.

Lenoir also provides a selected-scene commentary, going into detail about the technical aspects of six scenes from the film. For example, he mentions the kinds of lenses he used, the lighting scheme and whether he used hand-held cameras or not.

The third disc features a 43-minute interview with director Olivier Assayas. He gives his take on Carlos and the times that shaped the man. The filmmaker talks about his intentions for the film. He admits that it did not originate with him because he would've considered to complicated a task to undertake and was actually approached to direct. Assayas talks about growing up during Carlos' heyday and also about making the film itself.

There is also a 20-minute interview with actor Edgar Ramirez.
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