Track One: ‘au noeud couland’ by Louis-Ferdinand Celine performed by himself.
Track Two: ‘mort à crédit’ by Louis-Ferdinand Celine performed by Arletty.
Track Three: ‘règlement’ by Louis-Ferdinand Celine performed by himself.
Track Four: ‘voyage au bout de la nuit‘ by Louis-Ferdinand Celine performed by Michel Simon.
Arletty (born Léonie Marie Julie Bathiat) (May 15, 1898 – July 24, 1992) was a French fashion model, singer, and actress. Arletty was born in Courbevoie, France, to a working-class family. Her early career was dominated by the music hall, later appearing in plays and cabaret. Arletty’s career took off around 1936 when she appeared as leading lady in the stage plays Les Joies du Capitole and Fric-Frac, in which she starred opposite Michel Simon. Arletty was a stage performer for ten years before her French film debut in 1930. In 1945, Arletty appeared in her most famous film role, the part of Garance in Marcel Carné’s Les Enfants du Paradis. Arletty was imprisoned in 1945 for having had a wartime liaison with a German officer during the occupation of France. She allegedly later commented on the experience, “My heart is French but my ass is international.” After a moderately successful period as a stage actor in later life, an accident in 1963 left her nearly blind, forcing her to retire. One of her final screen appearances was in a small role as an elderly French woman in the 1962 epic The Longest Day. On her passing in 1992, Arletty was cremated, her ashes interred in her hometown at the Nouveau Cimetière de Courbevoie. In 1995 the government of France issued a series of limited edition coins to commemorate the 100th anniversary of film that included a 100 Franc coin bearing the image of Arletty. source
Michel Simon (b. 9 April 1895, Geneva, Switzerland – d. 30 May 1975, Bry-sur-Marne, France), was a French actor. François Simon, also an actor, was his son. Simon used to say about himself that he was born in 1895 and, “as misfortune never comes singly, cinema was born the same year“. Son of a sausage-maker and Protestant, Simon soon left his family and town to go to Paris, where he first lived at the Hotel Renaissance, Saint-Martin Street, then in Montmartre. He worked many different jobs to survive, such as giving boxing lessons or peddling smuggled lighters. He devoured every book he could find, with special preference for Georges Courteline’s writings. His artistic beginnings in 1912 were modest: magician, clown and acrobat stooge in a dancers’ show called “Ribert’s and Simon’s“, in the Montreuil-sous-Bois Casino. Conscripted into the Swiss Army in 1914, he was an undisciplined soldier, spending most of his time in prison and falling ill with tuberculosis. In 1915, during a leave, he saw Georges Pitoëff’s early work in the French language, at the Theatre de la Comédie of Geneva, acting in Hedda Gabler.
He then decided to become an actor too, but he would have to wait until 1920 to make a brief appearance in Pitoëff’s company, saying three lines for the registrar role in the Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. He also worked at this time as the company’s photographer. He was spotted for the first time in a supporting role in George Bernard Shaw’s Androcles and the Lion. In 1922, his company moved to Paris at the Comédie des Champs-Elysées. He quit the following year to become a light comedy actor in plays by Tristan Bernard, Marcel Achard and Yves Mirande. Marcel Achard presented him to Charles Dullin, in whose company he acted in Je ne vous aime pas with Valentine Tessier. Louis Jouvet, who has meanwhile replaced Pitoëff, hired him at the Comédie des Champs Elysées. Simon then gave a brilliant performance in Jean de la Lune, a play by Marcel Achard. His inimitable talent transformed his Cloclo supporting role to the big attraction of the play.
In the 1920s/1930s Simon enjoyed associating with people of the lower classes in Paris and for a while, at a time when prostitution was legal, he lived in a brothel.
His theatrical career then began to meet a huge success for a large repertoire: Shakespeare, Bernard Shaw, Pirandello, Oscar Wilde, Bourdet, Bernstein, but cinema brought him the biggest popularity. He made his first appearance in the film Feu Mathias Pascal, adapted from Pirandello, with Marcel L’Herbier as director. Nearly at the same time, he appeared in La vocation d’André Carel, directed by Jean Choux. The film used small-scale production methods, just as Nouvelle Vague would do in 1958. In silent movies, he brought his amazing appearance and his unusual face – a talent with an exceptional mobility but truly without mannerism. He easily played with his body using an unlimited virtuosity, especially his ugliness, evolving from smartness to sympathy, goodness to naivety, ludicrousness to frightening, stupidity to comical, mischievousness to cruelty.
His film career was really boosted with the advent of talking pictures. People remarked that his elocution and voice tone were as original as his appearance and play. He then revealed his unclassifiable talent: action comedy, drama, tragedy, light comedy. He appeared in 55 plays from 1920 to 1965, and 101 from 1965 to 1975. He did unforgettable work for Jean Renoir (La Chienne, Boudu Saved From Drowning), Jean Vigo (L’Atalante) and Marcel Carné (Port of the Shadows, Bizarre, Bizarre).
Since the 1950s, he reined in his activities, due to an accident involving a makeup dye that paralysed part of his body and face. He lived for a long time in Noisy-le-Grand, near Paris, in a kind of bohemian house, filled with amazing bric-a-brac and surrounded by rank weeds. He usued to say that he preferred “living with animals than humans“.
A lesser-known aspect is that he was fond of pornography: he amassed a large collection of pornographic items, including pictures and films, which was unfortunately broken up when he died in 1975, aged 80, from a pulmonary embolism, at Saint-Camille Hospital, Bry-sur-Marne. He was buried in the Grand-Lancy Cemetery of Geneva, in the grave of his parents, following his last will and testament. source