“Children of Paradise” (1945) at Film Forum (Mar 09-27)

by on March 9, 2012Posted in: Essay

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Tuesday Editor’s Pick: Children of Paradise (1945)

by on March 7, 2012Posted in: Editor's Pick


Playing Fri March 9 thru Thurs March 27 at 1:30, 4:30, 8:00 daily at Film Forum [Program & Tix]

 

Another invaluable restoration from Janus Films, Carne’s French classic – oft-cited as one of the greatest films ever made – gets a three-week standing ovation at Film Forum.
 
Even François Truffaut conceded, “I have made twenty-three films. Well, I would swap them all for the chance to have made Les enfants du paradis.”

 
Most reviews of the 4K restoration come from across the pond, where it screened at the BFI last fall. Peter Bradshaw for The Guardian:

This restoration of Marcel Carné’s 1945 classic reignites a glorious flame: a rich Balzacian drama that bulges with life, with incident, with romantic idealism, while the screenplay by Jacques Prévert has a superb and surreally turned bon mot every few minutes. The scene is the early 19th-century Boulevard du Crime in Paris, thronged with popular theatres and showfolk. French star Arletty plays Garance, a woman who entrances four different men: suave stage actor Frédérick (Pierre Brasseur), chilly aristocrat Count Edouard (Louis Salou), mime artist Baptiste (Jean-Louis Barrault) and Lacenaire, a criminal adventurer played by Marcel Herrand. The fascination with Garance keeps the narrative carousel turning, and it’s as addictive as the most gripping soap opera. The writing is utterly involving; with lines like tiny, imagist poems. A rich and delicious movie treat.

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