Jean-Pierre Melville fingers Henri Decoin
An interesting anecdote from Jean-Pierre Melville showing he had something of le doulos in him which is translated from Le Cinéma selon Jean-Pierre Melville a collection of interviews by Rui Noguiera conducted shortly before died and thus about a decade after his break with Jean-Luc Godard.
Rui Nogueira: “...I ask this question becuase Henri Decoin, shortly before his death, told me that his best film was Tendre et violente Élizabeth which he had had to film with countless financial problems. He believed that thanks to this inconvenience, which had obliged him to resort to invention and imagination, he had obtained a style similar to that of the New Wave.”
Jean-Pierre Melville: “Decoin was not telling you the truth. This is awkward; He was a great comrade and he is dead, but.... I had a longtime chief editor, Claude Durand, who, at that time, was working on that film with Decoin. One day, towards six in the afternoon, she saw him rush like a madman into the editing room crying out, ‘ Remove all my pencil marks, remove them all, all. I want no fades, no continuity shots, nothing... I have just seen Breathless.
translated from page 94 of Le cinéma selon Melville : entretiens / avec Rui Nogueira