Criterion Sunday 241: “Stage and Spectacle: Three Films by Jean Renoir”

Like the Bergman “trilogy” earlier in the collection, this trio of films by Jean Renoir isn’t formally constituted as a trilogy, but are three films he made upon his post-war return to filmmaking in Europe, which are united by a certain theatricality to their presentation. All of The Golden Coach (1952), French Cancan (1955) and Elena and Her Men (1956) have an almost camp style, with period settings, flamboyant staging and bright Technicolor cinematography. The key extra for the box set is Jean Renoir parle de son art (1961), an hour-long chat between Jacques Rivette and Jean Renoir in an outdoor cafe split across all three of the discs (as it was apparently made in three parts for television). It is pleasant enough, though it never really touches on Renoir’s own films precisely. It’s more of a chat about the philosophy and technicality of making films, as Renoir espouses some ideals that Rivette then teases out further. There’s also the second part of David Thompson’s 1993 BBC documentary on the filmmaker, which deals with his post-Hollywood output (the first part was on The Rules of the Game disc).

Advertisements

Discuss!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.