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Les enfants du Paradis 7: “Jealousy belongs to all if a woman belongs to none” September 22, 2006

Posted by Jeff in 1929 through WWII, Children of Paradise, Movies, Theater.

Things are a bit awkward on the opening night of Lemaître’s “Othello” – not only is Garance there but so are four of her lovers.

I still laugh when the curtain goes down on Desdemona’s murder.

Jacques PrevertJacques Prévert (1900-1977), the screenwriter of Les enfants du Paradis and several other of Marcel Carné’s films, is one of the best-known French poets and lyricists of the twentieth century. He also wrote the screenplay for my favorite semi-unknown French film of the era, Le Crime de monsieur Lange (1935), directed by Jean Renoir.

For Les portes de la nuit, Carné and Prévert’s followup to Les enfants du Paradis, Joseph Kosma set Prévert’s poem Les feuilles mortes to the music of a song introduced in the film by Yves Montand. Johnny Mercer translated the song as “Autumn Leaves”.

Carné and Prévert parted ways after Les portes de la nuit, evidentally at Carné’s initiative. In his infamous attack on “well-made cinema”, François Truffaut cited the split as the beginning of Carné’s decline; certainly nothing Carné did post-Prévert had the same impact.

I think what most irritated the auteuristes is that Carné-and-Prévert had become such a pair that they were considered the joint creators of their films. Surely that proves Carné was an inferior director, else how could a mere screenwriter deserve that much credit?

More of Les Enfants du Paradis.

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