Prévert at home
Inventory à la Prévert
“Very coherent” is how Eugénie describes her ancestor’s proteiform body of works: “Even if he worked in different genres (poetry, song, film, collage), a logical order emanates from all of them. Some poems were soon hummed like songs, other texts were originally written as film scripts… Everything is related.” In fact, Prévert is the father of a colossal artistic production. This incomparable orator, who left school at the age of 14, and was famous for the verses he recited in class, or for the words of his song Les Feuilles Mortes (Autumn Leaves) recorded by Yves Montand, was also the author of some very virulent writings for the October group of radical cabaret performers. As a scriptwriter and dialogist he helped Marcel Carné on the scenarios for Les Enfants du Paradis (Children of Paradise) and Quai des Brumes (Port of Shadows). Lastly, as a close friend of Aimé Maeght, whom he knew in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, he invented some wacky writings for his gallery and even tried his hand at collage.
Prévert was a free spirit in Eugénie’s opinion. He had a freshness, a lucidity and a sense of humour that resonates with the current age: “He used to make events his own in a furiously modern language; he looked at his own era with hindsight,” she analyses. Unlike his autumn leaves doomed to fall and drift away, Prévert’s words will live on.