MARCEL CARNÉ, French film director was born on this date (d. 1996); a French film director, born in Paris, France, he began his career in silent film as a trainee with director Jacques Feyder. By age 25, Carné had already directed his first film, one that marked the beginning of a successful collaboration with surrealist poet and screenwriter Jacques Prevért. This collaborative relationship lasted for more than a dozen years, during which they created films that defined French cinema of the day. Together, they were responsible for developing poetic realism.
Under the German occupation of France during WWII, Carné worked in the Vichy zone where he subverted the regime’s attempts to control art and filmed his masterpiece Les Enfants du paradis (Children of Pardise). In the late 1990s, the film was voted “Best French Film of the Century” in a poll of 600 French critics and professionals.
Post war, he and Prévert followed this triumph with what at the time was the most expensive production ever undertaken in the history of French film. But the result, titled Les Porte de la nuit, was panned by the critics and a box office failure that ended the duo’s working relationship. Carné was Gay and made little secret about. Several of his later films contain references to Gay male sexuality or bisexuality. His long-time partner was Roland Lesaffre who appeared in many of his films.