Hungarian art director Alexander Trauner originally aspired to become a painter. For this purpose, he left his native Budapest and moved to Paris. But there he instead became the assistant to distinguished French art director Lazare Meerson, the creator of "poetic realism," a studio- (rather than location) based movement of cinematic style. During the early '30s, he worked on many of René Clair's musical comedies and furthered his mentor Meerson's style. When the Nazis invaded France, Trauner (who was Jewish) went into hiding, but still managed to work uncredited on films. In that capacity he worked on Marcel Carné's Les Visiteurs du Soir (1942) and Les Enfants du Paradis (1945). In 1952, he created the exquisite sets for Orson Welles' Othello. Later he accepted the invitation of Billy Wilder and came to Hollywood where he worked on a wide variety of films ranging from The Apartment (1960) to Irma La Douce. Over his long, distinguished career, Trauner worked with such directors as Joseph Losey, Claude Berri, and Bertrand Tavernier. He worked on his 100th film, Reunion, in 1989.