Jonathan Driskell
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The Second World War and its aftermath
in Marcel Carné
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This chapter explores Marcel Carné's involvement with the film industry under German occupation, and his creation of two classics, before moving on to consider his first postwar film, Les Portes de la nuit, which deals with the aftermath of war. It challenges the usual break that is assumed between Carné's wartime films and his post-Liberation work, while exploring his complex engagement with this troubled period of French history. A brief consideration of Les Visiteurs du soir's production background immediately highlights ways in which the wartime context affected Carné's filmmaking. It highlights some clear departures from Carné's work of the 1930s. The chapter shows how Carné's approach to filmmaking went through significant changes at the coming of war. It argues that a key aspect of Carné's identity as a filmmaker is that he could balance the demands of 'art' and 'entertainment'.

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