Clair, René

Clair, René rənāˈ klâr [key], 1898–1981, French film director, writer, and producer. Beginning as a film critic, Clair first received international attention in the 1930s with his early sound films, notable for their satirical content and lovely photographic treatment. His Under the Roofs of Paris (1929) helped to suggest that the new medium could be freed from its static “talky” quality and use sound creatively. It was followed by the equally imaginative Le Million (1931) and À Nous la liberté (1932). His other films include The Ghost Goes West, (1935), Beauties of the Night (1952), and Les Fêtes Galantes (1965). In 1962 he was elected to the French Academy, the first film director to be so honored.

See his Reflections on the Cinema (tr. 1953) and Cinema Yesterday and Today, ed. by R. C. Dale (1972).

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