Jean Renoir

Jean Renoir – Le déjeuner sur l’herbe AKA Picnic on the Grass (1959)

Synopsis:
Etienne Alexis, a candidate for president of the new Europe, is a scientist promoting artificial insemination for social betterment and therapy to eliminate passion. His wealthy household (his family owns chemical corporations that will profit from his ideas) is stiff, intellectual, and sterile. To celebrate his engagement to a German cousin, he hosts an aseptic picnic, where mother nature asserts herself. A shepherd’s flute conjures a windstorm that throws Alexis together with the luscious Nénette, a farm lass who wants to have a baby but is unimpressed with men. Read More »

    Jean Renoir – La vie est à nous AKA The People of France (1936)

    Quote:

    A propaganda film produced by the French Communist Party (PCF) for the campaign for the May 1936 elections – which brought the Popular Front to power – “La vie est à nous”, by Jean Renoir, was shot by a team of militant filmmakers and technicians. Read More »

      Jean Renoir – Le caporal épinglé aka The Elusive Corporal (1962)

      Synopsis:
      ‘An upper-class corporal from Paris is captured by the Germans when they invade France in 1940. Assisted and accompanied by characters as diverse as a morose dairy farmer, a waiter, a myopic intellectual, a working-class Parisian, and a German dental assistant, the corporal tries to escape from prison camps, sometimes making it a few yards, sometimes reaching the French border.’
      [email protected] (IMDb) Read More »

        Jean Renoir – The River (1951)

        Ignatiy Vishnevetsky wrote:
        Is there a more pathetic object of desire than Captain John (Thomas E. Breen), the one-legged American who becomes a figure of romantic fantasy in The River? Breen was all of 26 at the time of filming, though like so many of the World War II generation, he seems a good decade older. His red hair is gelled back in sticky waves, his pants are belted mid-abdomen, and his shirts and jackets are cut baggy. His clothes drape awkwardly over his body, and at the pivotal moment of the film—the moment when Captain John’s false leg gives out from under him—they seem to drift an inch behind him, like parachutes unfurling too late. Read More »

          Jean Renoir – Tire-au-flanc AKA The Sad Sack (1928)

          A pretty rare early (and silent) Renoir, a kinda romantic-army-comedy about a fragile burgeoisie son who has (together with his his butler) to attend a full army drill. Several romantic interests soon kick in… Read More »

            Jean Renoir – French Cancan (1955)

            Synopsis:
            Henri Danglard, proprietor of the fashionable (but bankrupt) cafe ‘Le Paravent Chinois’ featuring his mistress, belly dancer Lola, goes slumming in Montmarte (circa 1890) where the then-old-fashioned cancan is still danced. There, he conceives the idea of reviving the cancan as the feature of a new, more popular establishment…and meets Nini, a laundress and natural dancer, whom he hopes to star in his new show. But a tangled maze of jealousies intervenes… Read More »

              Jean Renoir – Toni (1935)

              Masters of Cinema wrote:
              Financed by Marcel Pagnol’s production company, Jean Renoir’s Toni is a landmark in French filmmaking. Based on a police dossier concerning a provincial crime of passion, it was lensed by Claude Renoir on location (unusually for the time) in the small town of Les Martigues where the actual events occurred. The use of directly-recorded sound, authentic patois, lack of make-up, a large ensemble cast of local citizens in supporting roles, and Renoir’s steadfast desire to avoid melodrama lead to Toni often being labeled “the first ‘neorealist’ film”. Renoir himself disagreed. Although Toni is acknowledged as a masterly forerunner of neo-realist preoccupations and techniques he wrote: “I do not think that is quite correct. The Italian films are magnificent dramatic productions, whereas in Toni I was at pains to avoid the dramatic.” Read More »