Claude Autant-Lara

Claude Autant-Lara


ActivitiesActor, Director, Assistant Director, Adaptation, Author of original work, Producer, Screenwriter, Editor, Production Designer, Artistic Director, Costume designer


Claude Autant-Lara


    Born in 1901, Claude Autant-Lara falls in love with the cinema as soon as he enters secondary school. After graduating from the National School of Decorative Arts, he becomes a set designer for the theatre and art director for the cinema, and works with Renoir, Lehmann and L'Herbier. The latter produces his first film Faits-divers, a short in which he directs his mother. An atypical director and fascinated by new techniques, Claude Autant-Lara experiences difficult beginnings. It's by directing actress Odette Joyeux that he realises his first successes with films such as Le Mariage de Chiffon and Sylvia and the Ghost. In 1945, he directs Devil in the Flesh starring Micheline Presle and Gérard Philippe. Judged immoral, the film gives rise to sharp reactions by audiences and critics. The story of the two lovers is nevertheless considered symbolic of the young generation and consecrates Autant-Lara as a nonconformist and provocative director. He then shoots his greatest successes, including The Trip Across Paris in 1951 with the greatest French actors of the day: Gabin, Bourvil and de Funès. But the New Wave, supported by the critics of the Cahiers du Cinéma make Autant-Lara the very emblem of the old-fashioned cinema. He nevertheless directs films until 1970s before devoting himself to writing, memoirs and pamphlets.


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