From the mid-'30s though the mid-'40s, French poet Jacques Prévert was among his country's most important screenwriters and is credited for developing the notion of "poetic realism" that so influenced filmmakers such as Renoir. During the '20s, Prévert was influential in the surrealist movement and in 1930, published his first poems; following WWII, his poetry became all the rage amongst young French intellectuals. Prévert became a script writer in 1932. He sometimes collaborated with composer Joseph Kosma on film scores, on the ballet Rendezvous, and on several songs, including the all-time hit "Autumn Leaves" (also known as "Feuilles Mortes" or "Hojas Muertas"). Prévert's lyrics for the song were translated into English by Johnny Mercer. "Autumn Leaves" has been recorded by such legends of jazz and pop as Nat "King" Cole, Benny Carter, Jimmy Smith, Chet Baker, Bing Crosby, and Stan Getz, to name just a few.
Jacques Prévert Biography
by Sandra Brennan