A Companion to Jean Renoir. Wiley Blackwell Companions to Film Directors

  • ID: 2329861
  • Book
  • 634 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Dubbed simply thebest director by François Truffaut, Jean Renoir is a towering figure in world film history. This exhaustive survey of his work and life features a comprehensive analysis of his films from the multiple critical perspectives of the world s leading Renoir scholars. Renoir s career spanned four decades and four countries and included an extraordinary body of films, some of whichLa Grande illusion (1937) andLa Règle du jeu (1939) are universally recognized masterpieces. Fathered by the celebrated painter Pierre–Auguste, filmmaker Renoir lived through much of the 20th century, beginning his career in the silent era and ending it in full Technicolor. His films are notable for their paradoxical combination of strong internal coherence and thematic breadth and diversity, and provide a rich source for today s scholars of film history and French culture.

This handbook, the largest volume on Renoir ever produced in the English language, ranges in scope from extreme close–up analysis of individual films, to long–shot explorations of his aesthetics and the social and cultural contexts in which he worked. The most ambitious critical study of Renoir to date, this book will appeal to film enthusiasts as much as scholars and specialists.

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Notes on Contributors viii

Acknowledgments xv

Notes on the Text xvii

Introduction: Renoir In and Out of His Time 1Alastair Phillips and Ginette Vincendeau

Part I Renoir in Close–Up 13

Section 1 Reassessing Renoir s Aesthetics 15

1 Shooting in Deep Time: The Mise en Scène of History in Renoir s Films of the 1930s 16Martin O Shaughnessy

2 The Exception and the Norm: Relocating Renoir s Sound and Music 35Charles O Brien

3 The Invention of French Talking Cinema: Language in Renoir s Early Sound Films 53Michel Marie

4 Renoir and His Actors: The Freedom of Puppets 72Christophe Damour

5 Design at Work: Renoir s Costume Dramas of the 1950s 88Susan Hayward

Section 2 Critical Focus on Selected Films 107

6 Sur un air de Charleston, Nana, La Petite Marchande d allumettes, Tire au flanc: Renoir and the Ethics of Play 108Anne M. Kern

7 La Grande Illusion: Sound, Silence, and the Displacement of Emotion 121Valerie Orpen

8 La Bête humaine: Double Murder at the Station at Le Havre 131Olivier Curchod

9 La Règle du jeu: Lies, Truth, and Irresolution (A Critical Round Table) 144Christopher Faulkner, Martin O Shaughnessy, and V. F. Perkins

10 The River: Beneath the Surface with André Bazin 166Prakash Younger

Part II Renoir: The Wider View 177

Section 1 Renoir s Filmmaking and the Arts 179

11 Seeing with His Own Eyes: Renoir and Photography 180Alastair Phillips

12 Popular Songs in Renoir s Films of the 1930s 199Kelley Conway

13 Renoir and the Popular Theater of His Time 219Geneviève Sellier

14 Theatricality and Spectacle in La Règle du jeu, Le Carrosse d or, and Éléna et les hommes 237Thomas Elsaesser

15 French Cancan: A Song and Dance about Women 255Ginette Vincendeau

16 Social Roles/Political Responsibilities: The Evolving Figure of the Artist in Renoir s Films, 1928 1939 270Charles Musser

Section 2 Renoir s Place in the Critical Canon 291

17 Seeing through Renoir, Seen through Bazin 292Dudley Andrew

18 Henri Agel s Cinema of Contemplation: Renoir and Philosophy 313Sarah Cooper

19 Renoir and the French Communist Party: The Grand Disillusion 328Laurent Marie

20 Better than a Masterpiece : Revisiting the Reception of La Règle du jeu 347Claude Gauteur

21 Renoir and the French New Wave 356Richard Neupert

22 Renoir between the Public, the Professors, and the Polls 375Ian Christie

Part III Renoir, a National and a Transnational Figure 395

Section 1 Renoir, the Chronicler of French Society 397

23 Renoir under the Popular Front: Aesthetics, Politics, and the Paradoxes of Engagement 398Brett Bowles

24 The Performance of History in La Marseillaise 425Tom Brown

25 Toni: A Regional Melodrama of Failed Masculinity 444Keith Reader

26 La Règle du jeu: A Document of French Everyday Life 454Christopher Faulkner

27 Renoir s Jews in Context 474Maureen Turim

Section 2 Renoir, the Transnational Figure 493

28 Renoir s War 494Julian Jackson

29 Interconnected Sites of Struggle: Resituating Renoir s Career in Hollywood 514Elizabeth Vitanza

30 The Southerner: Touching Relationships 533Edward Gallafent

31 The Woman on the Beach: Renoir s Dark Lady 544Jean–Loup Bourget

32 Remaking Renoir in Hollywood 555Lucy Mazdon

Filmography 572

Select Bibliography 585

Index 592

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Phillips and Vincendeau s volume is intelligently organized, extremely comprehensive, and generously illustrated with images from many of the films.  Summing Up: Highly recommended.  Upper–division undergraduates through faculty and professionanls.   (Choice, 1 January 2014)

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