Autant-Lara, Claude

   Director. Born in 1901, the son of Edouard Autant, an architect, and Louise Lara, an actress, Claude Autant-Lara left France with his mother and spent his early childhood abroad in Great Britain. Autant-Lara returned to France at the age of eighteen to study art and soon after began working for director Marcel L'Herbier as a set and costume designer, a job that put him in contact with Fernand Léger and Alberto Cavalcanti, among others. This prompted an interest in cinema, and more specifically in directing films, and as a result, Autant-Lara made two shorts, Fait divers (1923) and Construire un feu (1923), both influenced by the surrealists with whom he had ties.
   Autant-Lara subsequently went to work as an assistant to René Clair for a time, and then to Hollywood where he made French versions or remakes of American hit films, largely films by Buster Keaton. In 1930, he returned to France and made his first solo feature film, Ciboulette, based on the story by Francis Croissent and made in collaboration with Jacques Prévert. The author, however, unhappy with Autant-Lara's vision of his text, initiated a smear campaign that resulted in excessive cutting during the editing process, and the results were that the film was a failure and Autant-Lara's reputation was tainted.
   Following the Ciboulette debacle, Autant-Lara returned to England, where he assisted Maurice Lehmann on L'Affaire du courrier de Lyon (1937), Le Ruisseau (1938), and Fric-Frac (1939). He then returned to France, which was shortly afterward occupied by Germany, and it was the Occupation that breathed new life into Autant-Lara's career. His first Occupation films were Le Mariage de Chiffon (1942) and Lettres d'amour (1942), both starring Odette Joyeux. These were quickly followed by Douce (1943) and then by an adaptation of Raymond Radiguet's novel, Le Diable au corps (1946), which was Autant-Lara's first great success. The true nature of these Occupation films is disputed. Some see them as nostalgic but light period pieces that conformed to the censorship of the day. Others see in them hidden critiques of the hypocrisy and treachery of the time.
   After the war, Autant-Lara was one of the most popular directors making films in France. He was, in fact, one of the practitioners of the tradition de qualité, one of the "papas" who would be criticized by the members of the French Nouvelle Vague or New Wave. Films such as L'Auberge rouge (1951), Le Blé en herbe (1954), Le Rouge et le noir (1954), La Traversée de Paris (1956), and En cas de malheur (1958) were traditional, sometimes entertaining, sometimes patriotic, but, as the New Wave would point out, did little to move cinema forward and did not in any way reflect the tremendous changes France had undergone.
   The critiques of the New Wave notwithstanding, Autant-Lara made films all through the 1960s, although few, if any of them, were remarkable. Autant-Lara's last film was Gloria, made in 1977. In the 1980s, he gave up filmmaking and began to dabble in politics, particularly in the politics of the extreme right, which was on the rise in France. He was elected to the European parliament, but resigned in scandal after denying the Holocaust and making other, similarly objectionable claims.
   Historical Dictionary of French Cinema by Dayna Oscherwitz & Mary Ellen Higgins

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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  • Autant-Lara, Claude — (1901 2000)    Director. Born in 1901, the son of Edouard Autant, an architect, and Louise Lara, an actress, Claude Autant Lara left France with his mother and spent his early childhood abroad in Great Britain. Autant Lara returned to France at… …   Historical Dictionary of French Cinema

  • Autant-Lara, Claude — ▪ 2001 Claude Autant        French motion picture director (b. Aug. 5, 1903, Luzarches, France d. Feb. 5, 2000, Antibes, France), was one of the world s leading directors in the post World War II era, winning international acclaim with his… …   Universalium

  • Autant-Lara, Claude — • ОТА Н ЛАРА (Autant Lara) Клод (р. 5.8.1903)    франц. режиссёр. В кино с 1919 как художник. Работал с М. Л Эрбье, Ж. Ренуаром, Р. Клером (с последним также как ассистент). Пост, в духе Авангарда эксперим. ф. Происшествия (1923) и Разложить… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Autant-Lara, Claude — (August 5, 1901, Luzarches, Val d Oise, France February 5, 2000, Antibes, Alpes Maritîmes, France)    The son of architect Edouard Autant and of the lead­ing actress from the Comédie Française, Louise Lara, he followed his mother in her self… …   Encyclopedia of French film directors

  • Claude Autant Lara — Nom de naissance Claude Autant Naissance 5 août 1901 Luzarches, France Nationalité(s)  Française …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Claude Autant-Lara — (5 August 1901, Luzarches, Val d’Oise – 5 February 2000, Antibes, Alpes Maritimes), was a French film director and later Member of the European Parliament (MEP). Contents 1 Biography 2 Filmography (director) 3 References …   Wikipedia

  • Autant-Lara — (Claude) (né en 1901) cinéaste français: Douce (1943); le Diable au corps (1946), le Rouge et le Noir (1954), la Traversée de Paris (1956) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Claude Autant-Lara — Données clés Nom de naissance Claude Autant Naissance 5 août 1901 Luzarches, France Nationalité  Française …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Claude Autant-Lara — (Luzarches, Val d Oise, 5 de agosto de 1901 – Antibes, Alpes Maritimes, 5 de febrero de 2000), fue un director de cine francés y más tarde diputado al Parlamento Europeo. Hijo de un arquitecto, Édouard Autant, y Louise Lara, actriz de la Comédie… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Claude Autant-Lara — (* 6. August 1901 in Luzarches, Val d Oise; † 5. Februar 2000 in Antibes, Provence) war ein französischer Filmregisseur und Kostümbildner. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Künstlerische Karriere 2 Politik …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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