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Marcel Pagnol
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    (February 28, 1895-April 18, 1974)
    Born in Aubagne, France
    Filmmaker and playwright
    Wrote the plays 'Merchants of Glory' (1925), 'Jazz' (1926), 'Topaze' (1930), 'Fanny' (1932) and 'Cesar' (1936)
    Wrote the novels 'Jean de Florette' and 'Manon des Sources'
    Directed the films 'Ways of Love' (1933), 'Topze' (1936), 'Cesar' (1936), 'The Baker's Wife' (1938), 'Harvest' (1939), 'The Well-Digger's Daughter' (1940), 'The Pretty Miller Girl' (1948), 'Topaze' (1951), 'Manon of the Spring' (1952) and 'Letters from My Windmill' (1954)
    As a child, his mother kept him from reading books out of fear of 'cerebral explosion.'
    He was discharged from the French army after one year because of a poor constitution.
    He fathered three children out of wedlock.
    The actor Fernandel said, 'With Marcel Pagnol, making a film is first of all going to Marseille, then eating some bouillabaisse with a friend, talking about the rain or the beautiful weather, and finally if there is a spare moment, shooting.'
    He was a pioneer in French cinema of naturalistic dialogue and on location filming.
    His movies won the New York Film Critics Circle Awards for best foreign film three times.
    He was the first filmmaker elected to the Academie Francaise (1947).
    Director Jean-Charles Tacchella said, 'After watching one of his films, you felt happy. Sometimes you even believed you were a better person.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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