Clair is the poet of the Paris night: a bluish sensuous night of dark velvet, carrying a whiff of powder and the promise of adventure, indeed, a perfectly convincing evocation of the Parisian night of the 1930s….
[The] abiding attraction of René Clair is not merely a matter of nostalgia, though there must always be plenty of that, because he is a period piece. He evokes the easy, unsuspecting sociability of a city the inhabitants of which share a common slang and most basic assumptions, and enjoy a wide area of mutual encounter: the café, the street, the market, the staircase, the shop. No one is especially afraid of anyone else; and nearly all can converse in an imaginative and...
(The entire section is 480 words.)