Segments in this Video

Midnight in Paris: Introduction (03:45)


Review the previous episode of "Adventurers of Modern Art" depicting the rise of fascism, the dissolution of the Surrealists, and the Spanish Civil War. In 1939, war set Europe ablaze.

German Occupation of France (03:41)

In Spring 1940, the German army invaded France and settled into Paris, adjusting the clocks to Berlin time. By July, the Germans controlled the freedom of press, Jewish rights, and art and culture.

Prohibited Painters (02:47)

Robert Desnos lived with a woman whose name meant "pink snow;" he collected leftovers from a restaurant to feed to her cat. Picasso daily purchased delicacies from the black market. He had Spanish citizenship.

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais (03:26)

At Picasso's studio, he welcomed visitors who did not have Nazi sympathies. Writer Jean Cocteau and actor Jean Marais often visited.

Chaim Soutine (02:18)

Soutine was wanted by the Gestapo. He lived in hiding with a lover until 1942 when he fled.

Saint-Germain-des-Prés (02:08)

World War II drove artists out of Montparnasse, to Saint-Germain-des-Prés. They congregated at the Cafe de Flore.

Intellectual Activists (03:50)

Jean-Paul Sartre founded a group of 50 writers and professors to write leaflets resisting the war. He and Simone de Beauvoir set out to gain the assistance of other writers. Andre Malraux believed resisting the Germans was futile.

Char the Warlord (03:33)

René Char stopped producing art to resist the German occupiers. He set up ambushes and intercepted weapons left for Germans, shooting traitors and writing.

Poet Resistor (01:58)

In June of 1941, Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa and it became clear that Germany would fall under opposition. Desnos assisted the Intelligence Service by putting together documents to assist the fight against Germany.

"The Typewriter" (03:49)

In Paris, opposition to the occupiers was uncommon. Jean Cocteau's play was banned in 1941 by the French; the Germans overturned the ban. Picasso started sculpting.

Fleeing the Free Zone (02:33)

Louis Aragon and Elsa Triolet fled the southern zone when the Germans crossed the line of demarcation. They took up residence where they wrote in the single room of a secluded home.

Comrades in Secrecy (03:25)

Aragon met Paul Eluard, who was also living in secrecy and writing, and a member of the communist party. He wrote about liberty.

Soutine's Funeral (02:45)

Soutine died in Paris after an operation for a perforated stomach. Picasso and Max Jacob attended the funeral. Jacob's family had been arrested and executed; he had converted to Catholicism.

Deportation of Desnos (03:53)

In 1943, Mussolini was removed from power. Sartre performed for German officers and met Albert Camus. Desnos was arrested, interned, and deported.

Max Jacob's End (03:15)

In February of 1944, Gestapo detained Jacob as a Jew. Cocteau attempted to free him but the release orders came too late; Jacob died of pneumonia in the detainee infirmary.

Surrender and Desnos' Death (03:40)

Robert Capa shot images of the war for Life magazine. In May of 1945, Germany surrendered and Desnos' name was found on a list of survivors. He died of typhus after admittance to the infirmary.

Credits: Midnight in Paris: Episode 6—The Adventurers of Modern Art (01:01)

Credits: Midnight in Paris: Episode 6—The Adventurers of Modern Art

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Midnight in Paris: Episode 6—The Adventurers of Modern Art

Part of the Series : The Adventurers of Modern Art
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



World War Two erupts, and France mobilizes its war effort. After the debacle of June 1940 and the Occupation of Nazi Germany, Europe is in tatters, and artists and intellectuals flee in droves. Old friends among those who stay behind are eventually torn apart. Some collaborate, some resist—many make do as they can, and others pay for their commitment with their lives. When the war at last is over, Paris reawakens to find that an astonishing work has been created from within its war-torn midst: the film Les Enfants du paradis, a homage to freedom written by Jacques Prévert and masterfully directed by Marcel Carné.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL114911

ISBN: 978-1-68272-924-3

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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