Lumiere D'Ete

A month before his death, Henri Langlois was in Berkeley planning with us a retrospective tribute to the French filmmaker whom he considered the most neglected of all the great French masters - Jean Gremillon. One reads about such famous films as Remorques (1941), Lumiere D'Ete (1943), Le Ciel Est A Vous (1944) and Le Six Juin A L'Aube (1945), but none of these films has ever been released in this country. For many British and French critics, Lumiere D'Ete stands alongside Children Of Paradise as a masterpiece made under the German Occupation. Like Children Of Paradise, Lumiere D'Ete was written by the great surrealist poet Jacques Prevert. According to Gavin Lambert:

“Prévert's script has an exciting conception: the contrast of a group of self-pitying, disintegrating failures living in a hotel on a ledge of the massifs, with the hard, earthy existence of workmen building a dam below. Tensions are the film's substance.... The artist (Pierre Brasseur) continually laments the futility of his life and rises to a pitch of exhibitionism when he appears as Hamlet at a fancy-dress ball which culminates in disaster.”

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