Glenn Kennyde Box Musique
"For convinced auteurists, Jacques Prévert comes as something of a stumbling block. With Prévert as scriptwriter, Marcel Carné directed several supreme classics of French cinema; when the two split up, Carné sank into obscure mediocrity. A bas Carné, then, cold and formal craftsman helplessly limited by his material, and vive Prévert, true begetter of Le Jour se lève and Les Enfants du paradis? And yet—if Prévert scripted Carné's greatest successes, he also wrote Les Portes de la nuit, the disastrous postwar flop from which neither of their careers ever recovered. And if Carné minus Prévert looks flat and uninspired, Prévert's scripts for other directors—with one or two exceptions—rarely attained the level of his best work with Carné." So writes the distinguished critic Philip Kemp. One might be tempted to make comparisons between other writer-director teams whose collaborations did not quite last through the whole of their careers. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, maybe. But the fall off in quality isn't nearly so precipitous as what you've got in the Carné-Prevert case.