EST. 2009

June 4, 2011

Those Funambules

SHE LOVES HIM, he loves her not. He loves her, she loves him not. She loves him.

Marcel Carné's Les Enfants du Paradis seemed at first to be like a Frenchified scene out of Gone With the Wind, then a sort of cross between a Shakespearean comedy and Melrose Place revolving around a courtesan, a pantomime, an actor, a murderer and a count. Love triangle turns into love quadrangle then quintrangle. If there is even such a thing.

But thinking of the film as being made during the Vichy Regime, with a large number of the 1,800 extras, undercover resistance agents, production delays occurring repeatedly due to set damage, theatrical constraints, restrictions regarding the producer's Jewish ancestry in the German occupation and complications regarding an actor's collaboration with the Nazis after the liberation, that the movie was even finished at all has to be a triumph on its own.

So aptly named, the central location in the film, the Théâtre des Funambules, or theatre of tightrope walkers, can't be any more perfect for the movie-making experience.

That the film runs for 90 minutes is another triumph I believe.

That I spent my Saturday night watching it in full is the biggest triumph of all. Bonne nuit.

Les Enfants du Paradis, 1945. Directed by Marcel Carné.