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Type: Journal article
Title: '(Under)scoring poetic realism' - Maurice Jaubert and 1930s' French cinema
Author: McCann, B.
Citation: Studies in French Cinema, 2009; 9(1):37-48
Publisher: Intellect Ltd
Issue Date: 2009
ISSN: 1471-5880
Statement of
McCann, Ben
Abstract: This article will examine the contributions made by composer Maurice Jaubert to three key French poetic realist films of the 1930s – L'Atalante (Vigo, 1934), Le Quai des brumes/Port of Shadows (Carné, 1938), and Le Jour se lève/Daybreak (Carné, 1939). Whereas the formal specificity of these films is often analysed in terms of their visual sensibilities and expressive mise en scène (set design, costume, lighting, acting style), there has been comparatively little written about the way Jaubert's scores provide an important synthesis between image and sound. He regarded music as fundamental, not simply to the underscoring and accompanying of a film, but also as a means to reinforce, express and paraphrase many of the film's attendant narrative preoccupations. Jaubert's scores are a crucial accompaniment to Vigo and Carné's visual strategy, intersecting with and overlapping the images to fulfil Jaubert's claim that the role of music was ‘to feel the exact moment when the image escapes from strict realism and calls for the poetic extension of music’ (Jaubert 1938). This poetic extension invests poetic realism with a rich sonic tapestry which heightens tension and underpins the fatalistic aspects of the narratives
Keywords: Jaubert
poetic realism
Rights: Copyright © Intellect Ltd 2009 All Rights Reserved.
DOI: 10.1386/sfc.9.1.37_1
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
French publications

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