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Jacques Prévert

Jacques Prévert

Jacques Prévert was a French poet and screenwriter who was born on February 4, 1900 in Neuilly-sur-Seine and died on April 11, 1977 in Omonville-la-Petite. He grew up in Paris where he was bored by school. He often went to the theater with his father, a drama critic, and acquired the love of reading from his mother. After receiving his Certificat d'études attesting to his having completed his primary eduacation, he quitted school and went to work in Le Bon Marché department store in Paris. Then he was called up for military service in 1918 and after the War he was sent to the Near East.

Prévert participated actively in the surrealism movement and was a member of the rue du Château group along with Raymond Queneau and Marcel Duhamel, although Prévert was really too much of a free spirit to be a member of any group. His poems were published in his books "Paroles" (Words) (1946), "Histoires" (Stories) (1946), "Spectacle" (1951), "La Pluie et le beau temps" (Rain and Good Weather) (1955), "Fatras" (1971) and "Choses et autres" (Things and Others) (1973).

Prévert wrote a number of classic screenplays for the film director Marcel Carné. Among the films were "Drôle de drame" (Bizarre, Bizarre, 1937), "Quai des brumes" (Port of Shadows, 1938), "Le jour se lève" (Daybreak, 1939), "Les Visiteurs du soir" (The Night Visitors, 1942) and "Les enfants du paradis" (The Children of Paradise, 1945), one of the greatest films of all time. His poems were also the base for the movie "La Seine a rencontré Paris" (The Seine Meets Paris, 1957) by the film director and documentarist Joris Ivens, being read as narration during the film by singer Serge Reggiani.

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