Poetic realism reaches sublime heights with Children of Paradise (Les enfants du paradis), the ineffably witty tale of a woman loved by four different men. Deftly entwining theater, literature, music, and design, director Marcel Carné and screenwriter Jacques Prévert resurrect the tumultuous world of nineteenth-century Paris, teeming with hucksters and aristocrats, thieves and courtesans, pimps and seers. —The Criterion Collection
Between 1936 and 1946, Marcel Carné was among the chief proponents of poetic realism, a studio-bound film style that combined theatrical themes with elaborate dialogues which depicted ordinary people attempting to contend with the unalterable nature of destiny. The shadowy fatalism of poetic realism presaged the more popular American film noir. Though the style was created by Jacques Feyder, with whom Carné apprenticed, it was Carné and poet/screenwriter Jacques Prévert who brought it to its full fruition with Enfants du Paradise (Children of Paradise) (1945), a work still considered one of France’s greatest films. Born and raised in Montmarte, Carné was originally slated to work for an insurance agency by his father, a cabinetmaker. Carné, however, was more interested in movies and secretly attended evening classes on cinematography with the Paris city council-sponsored Association Philomantique. Without telling his father, Carné left the agency in 1928 to work as an assistant cameraman… read more
Widely acknowledged as the crowning glory of classic French cinema, this sumptuous melodrama defied the Occupation stringencies under which it was made. Set in the 19th century Boulevard du Crime where popular audiences for mime shows rubbed shoulders with wealthy patrons of classical theatre, its an extraordinarily rich tapestry and a consummate piece of filmmaking about unconsummated love. In short: a masterpiece..
I watched this on Criterion DVD and it has instantly become one of my favourite French films of all-time. A true masterpiece in every sense of the word. This is an exquisite piece of filmmaking. I am not sure what else coulkd be said that hasn't all ready been repeated numerous times. Watch this.
Well worth a second watch and now possibly one of my favorites because of the fantastically tragic opposing forces adding up to a very real, identifiable ending to what, at times, felt more like a dream. The characters were endearing, which is a large understatement, and no matter what side of the moral spectrum they were coming from, relatable.
A look at some of the best original French posters for the films in Film Forum’s current series: The French Old Wave.
The 20 most popular posters to date from our related Tumblr, Movie Poster of the Day.
This year’s edition includes Rendez-Vous +, “a potpourri of recent French documentaries and rarely screened classics.”
Also: Béla Tarr and the Cannes and Berlin film festival directors speak out for Hungarian cinema.
The French classic, now restored, returns to London.
Above: Alexandre Trauner's sketch for Canal Saint-Martin and Hotel (second building from right). Besides classical Hollywood, one of the other
A undoubted masterpiece, lyrical and assured, ‘’Les Enfants Du Paradis’ remains the high point of Director Marcel Carne and writer Jacques Prevert’s collaborations and the culmination of the Poetic… read review
A wonderful French film to come late into my life brimming with all things considered classic. Three years and three months in the making all under the watchful eye of Nazi occupation. The script was… read review