ISBN ] [ Source: The Lucidity Institute ] Chapter 8:
Ten to twelve films At the beginning of the talkies era, the French cinema was an honest carbon copy of the American cinema. That is why I will restrict my remarks solely to scriptwriters, those very people who were behind the emergence of poetic realism in the Tradition of Quality movement, namely Jean Aurenche and Pierre Bost, Jacques Sigurd, Henri Jeanson in his second mannerRobert Scipion, Roland Laudenbach and others.
No one is any longer unaware of the fact that After first trying his hand at direction with two now forgotten short films, Jean Aurenche started specialising in adaptations for the screen.
At about the same time, some excellent little novels by Pierre Bost were being published by the Nouvelle revue francaise NRF. Aurenche and Bost teamed up for the first time when they adapted and wrote the dialogue of Douce Love Storydirected by Autant-Lara. Everyone now realises that Aurenche and Bost rehabilitated the art of adaptation by challenging the notion of what was generally meant by it; in other words they are said to have replaced the old prejudice that required one to be faithful to the letter by the opposite requirement to be faithful to the spirit — to the point where the following audacious aphorism was coined: The touchstone of adaptation as practised by Aurenche and Bost is the so-called process of equivalence.
This process takes for granted that in the novel being adapted there are filmable and unfilmable scenes, and that instead of scrapping the latter as used to be done you had to think up equivalent scenes; in other words ones that the author of the novel might have written for the screen.
This is more or less what I intend to do here. Faithfulness to the spirit of the works they adapt; 2.
The talent they put into the task. The great diversity of inspiration displayed by the works and writers they have adapted will be obvious to all.
Anyone capable of bringing off the tour de force required to remain faithful to the spirit of Davet, Gide, Radiguet, Queffelec, Boyer, Colette and Bernanos would, I imagine, need to possess a most unusual mental agility and a multiple personality, as well as a singular spirit of eclecticism.
It also has to be remembered that Aurenche and Bost have worked with a wide range of directors. Delannoy, for example, likes to see himself as a mystical moralist. But the petty vileness of Le Garcon sauvage Savage Trianglethe mean-mindedness of La Minute de verite The Moment of Truth and the insignificance of La Route Napoleon Napoleon Road demonstrate rather convincingly that he pursued that vocation only intermittently.
Aurenche both felt nostalgic about, and rebelled against, his education at a Jesuit school. While he flirted with Surrealism, he seems to have been drawn to anarchist groups in the s.
But an examination of his work will probably tell us more about this aspect. We find faith reduced to religious psychology in Gide, and religious psychology reduced to mere psychology in the film This decline in quality is now, according to a rule familiar to aestheticians, matched by a quantitative increase.
New characters are added, such as Piette and Casteran, who are supposed to represent certain feelings. Tragedy becomes drama, or melodrama. What bothers me about this celebrated process of equivalence is that I am by no means convinced that a novel can contain unfilmable scenes, and even less so that scenes decreed to be unfilmable are unfilmable by any director.
Chantal points to the missal she left there. I may no longer have the right to touch it. He opens the book and discovers stuck between two pages the host that Chantal had spat into it. He looks astonished and shaken.
He is thinking or praying. What is horrible is to receive the host in a state of sin. It seems to me that in this case there is rather little invention and a great deal of betrayal.
So Bernanos hampered Aurenche and Bost because he was alive, but hampered Bresson because he was dead. A simple reading of that extract reveals:This French audiobook explains the construction and uses of the French tenses of the indicative mood, focusing on what is difficult for students such as passé-composé versus imparfait or the choice between “être” and “avoir” to form complex tenses.
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This volume was originally published in French by the monks of Chevetogne, a dual-rite (Roman and Orthodox) monastery in Belgium dedicated to the reunion of Christianity.
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