Children of Paradise – dir. Marcel Carné – 1945 – Original Theatrical Trailer
By: Jennie DiBartolomeo
What contemporary American audiences don’t know is that before Godard and Truffaut were shaking things up in the early 60’s by breaking cinematic conventions with their jump cuts and non-linear plots, there was Marcel Carné and Jacques Prévert. The fact of the matter is that as early as the 30’s and 40’s they were creating new and subversive cinematic experiences that drove crowds mad. They were the pioneers of “poetic realism”, a movement that produced such films as Le Quai des Brumes, 1938 and Le Jour se Lève, 1939. These films forced the audience to examine the circumstances (both real and surreal) that surrounded them while creating awareness of current political, social and cultural issues-but in the most lovingly poetic way possible. Prévert creates a kind of romantic fatalism with his verse, setting the stage for Carné’s unique vision of these tragic love stories. But they were more than tragic love stories; they were stories of regular people that were taking place while their country was at war and they were rich in a subtext that could not be ignored. And moreover, this was the medium in which they fought back.