Art director Lazare Meerson is the father of French poetic realism, a movement that became popular in the late '30s. A native of Russia, Meerson fled the country after the Bolshevik Revolution and after living briefly in Germany. By 1924, he was a resident of France. Looking at contemporary French cinema, Meerson was not impressed by cinematic styles such as naturalism and impressionism. His vision lay in between, and so he began designing sets that were simultaneously stark, gritty, and realistic and yet somehow romanticized with the hopelessness they evoked. Meerson's designs were quite popular with directors such as Feyder and Rene Clair and soon were emulated internationally. Meerson moved to England in the mid-'30s and worked for Alexander Korda Productions until he died two years later.