Johann, over at his website has published [HERE] a rather interesting piece by Christian Attard. Christian writes; "Long before Philip Cherisey had only imagined his hero Charlot attempting his underground odyssey in a cave in the region of Rennes-le-Château, & long before esoteric literature remember's the Cathars and the Holy Grail, an author had [already] told it all [back in 1943]".
The novel was originally published as « La mort ne reçoit que sur rendez-vous » in 1943. The author's name was Gaston Bonheur and he was born in 1913 in Belvianes, Aude under the name Gaston Tesseyre.
Attard goes on: "In 1944, therefore, shooting begins in Carcassonne for the film "Bride of Darkness" - inspired by a new Gaston Bonheur. Sanblanca Roland (Pierre-Richard Willm) is a famous pianist, he returned with his wife and son in Carcassonne where he spent his childhood. One day on the ramparts, he meets the beautiful Sylvie (Jany Holt) who was collected by his teacher Mr. Toulzac (Edouard Delmont) which is a kind of Déodat Roché who was mayor of Arques and General Council of the Canton of Couiza. No doubt Happiness has not heard. This Toulzac who said the last Albigensian bishops, desperately seeking a parchment that would have left him and his deceased predecessor indicating the entrance to a tunnel leading to a sacred sanctuary of the Cathars. Under the tomb of a knight, our Cathar bishop scholar will actually discover the secret passage leading to the cave shrine of the last Cathars. In this cave, is nothing less than an altar and on it the Grail, of course! However our beautiful heroine and her musician will fail to seize the Grail because the cave will collapse, leaving just enough time for the lovers to meet in the surreal world of Tournebel. The Aude, a Cathar bishop, a coded parchment, the tomb of a nobleman- it's entry into a mysterious underground, a secret Cathedral and the Holy Grail. Everything is almost here for Cherisey-Plantard to work on, almost 15 years later - a frame already well established in the first poetic surrealism of Gaston Bonheur." [http://www.reinedumidi.com/rdm/Bonheur.htm]
More info from the [Patrimony of Carcassonne website];
The Bride of Darkness is a film shot in the city of Carcassonne.
It is a film of Serge de Poligny, & shot in the city of Carcassonne in 1944. The screenplay was written by Gaston Bonheur, a journalist and writer born in Belvianes in the Aude.
Sylvie is convinced of a curse and leads a life without hope in the dark home of her adopted family. One day, she meets Roland, a young music composer, and decides to flee with him. But her father, in search of the secret of the Cathars, persuades her to renounce the world to find, in an underground place, the sanctuary of the Albigensian's.
There exists in the history of French cinema film, a widely regarded consideration that this film is the first and only one inspired by Cathar history. Greeted at its release by sneers and a general incomprehension, because of the complexity of the scenario which was loaded with cultural references; it was also admired for the formal perfection of it's images, the Bride of Darkness today surprises and fascinates young people who are a more informed generation of viewers of the problems of the irrational and sensitive as a discourse which breaks with the conventions of a literary cinema for years thirty.
(Les cahiers de la cinémathèque / Hiver 1975/ N°16)
Gaston Bonheur Interview
"The screenplay for The Bride of Darkness is adapted from a novel that I had published in 1943 in the evening edition of Paris-soir Toulouse: Death is received only by appointment. I was thirty, which may explain some of this romantic-philosophical delirium and I had also long since finished my own philosophy studies in Paris. We must, perhaps, be clear to understand the intentions of my text, I was in Paris and "invested" with a mission by my teacher Joe Bousquet & Esteve, my senior teacher: I should have become a philosopher; I became a writer and it is Alquié [Ferdinand Alquié, NDLR] who took my place.
Arriving in Paris I had many letters of recommendation from Germaine Dulac, Abel Gance and Jean Renoir - I started writing a script about Le blé and that should have been turned in Chartres. It was a time when we saw in cinema a form of expression which extended to literature; we thought the end of the end it was a movie that takes a literature acclaim. After the defeat of 1940 it is therefore natural that I took part in the southern zone, the film activities of the Riviera with the Prévert brothers and my friend Marc Allégret, among others. Easter 1941 to June 42, I worked in Imperia films.
It is in this climate that I wrote the Toulouse edition of Paris-Soir, whose editor was René Maine - i wrote this short story that would hold the attention of producer François Chavannes and Serge Poligny , who was to become my friend. There was also Jean Anouilh, who wrote the love scene on the ramparts; the film is somewhat the result of two groups, the Méridionnaux who wanted to get something; and Parisian whose knowledge of public taste allowed me to put in images, in a style that had proven itself as the romantic conventions of the time.
As for the climate of daily life, I was inspired to specific facts and real people I knew.
Thus Charpin represented my master François-Paul Alibert in his jovial eloquence. Delmont, immobilized on his wheelchair, recovered with a long cloak represents Joe Bousquet. With Déodat Roché who, when I met him in 1930, claimed to be the last Cathar bishop ... Starting from the adventure experienced by the hero as a test to achieve purification, we can interpret the story as the symbolic representation of a route to perfection. The trésor buried in the City would be the Holy Grail ... And the fete of Tournebelle, the Paraclete ... I had designed the bride of darkness like an opera, with rigorous esoteric implications. In this sense the fundamental contribution was that of Manuel Mirouze who writes for film an elaborate partition, published under the title of Symphony Albigensian. [The air of Occitan song "Lo Boier" is included in the soundtrack. Ed]
A native of Toulouse, Marcel Mirouze which then led for many years the orchestra of Monte Carlo was fully aware of my intentions".
Were you aware at that time of the interest in Germany not only of the Holy Grail, but also to some speculation that in Montéségur was Montsalvage tradition, and especially of certain Wagnerian conceptions or interpretations or nietzchéennes to Cathar thought?
Of course, we knew the book by Otto Rahn (The crusade against the Grail); but the literature on the Cathars was in those days, quite rare. Les cahiers du sud had not yet achieved in 1942, a number on the occitanie and Cathar thought. René Nelli had worked there; but it's about what we had in France. By cons, I have an anecdote filming the movie that goes in the direction of your question. Upon completion, the city of Carcassonne was under control of the occupying army, and we were in constant contact with the officers. I well remember one of them who had his office in one of the larger rooms and had before him a statuette of Trencavel & he pretended to assign the proud motto, "My sword for the widow, my shield for the orphan. "He was convinced that the struggle of the Wehrmacht avenged the victims of Simon de Montfort ... that said filming has sometimes occurred under their control, but for security reasons only. Thus, for example, the scene of the passionate drama of the barge is a German officer who fired the gun for sound recording.We were in an intellectual climate profoundly influenced by surrealism, and all these ideas of a more contemporary romanticism, were haunting. Unfortunately, filming was interrupted for the liberation and the scenes of celebration in Tournebelle are not what they should have been. For me, they were to take place near Gruissan, in the true Tournebelle".
Welcome to the blog of Rhedesium
My name is Sandy Hamblett, inspired and passionate researcher of the mysteries at Rennes-les-Bains.