Arlecchino Cinema > 18:15


Jean Renoir

Introduced by Frédéric Bonnaud (La Cinémathèque française)


Monday 27/06/2022


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

La Règle du jeu emerged as a culmination of Jean Renoir’s miraculous years, the cycle of nine films that began with Toni (1934). It reflectson them and reverses them. In retrospect, one can observe the presence of violent death in almost all of them. The Munich Agreementenraged Renoir, who found that La Règle du jeu was no less than La Grande illusion a film about war. It is an account of the spiritual state of France in 1939, the year before the drôle de guerre and the occupation. The reception was mostly so clueless and crushing that, in effect,it led Renoir into exile.
La Règle du jeu is a film without protagonists and key scenes. Renoir set out to create an ensemble film, largely with the character actors thathe loved. Analysis of certain sequences can illuminate the peculiar quality of the mise-en-scène. Towards the conclusion of the huntingsequence there is a scene in which the Marquis and Geneviève speak their minds. He confesses that he no longer loves her. It is time to partways. Elsewhere, a pocket telescope has been introduced.
Among Renoir’s greatest images is a long shot in which the camera slightly wavers. Where does the intensity of this shot come from? It is a perfect reflection of a memory in a movie that, without the crutch of flashbacks, displays the power of the past as a haunting component of the drama of the present.
Renoir commented on the seemingly improvisatory circumstances of the production: “The meaning of the characters and the events and particularly the allegorical side of the movie had brewed inside me for a long time. I had been longing to make something like this: an account of a rich, complex society in which – to use a historical saying – we are dancing on a volcano.”
The film is about love affairs, but nobody makes love, nobody has children. Renoir captures a limbo in the hunting castle, in the community, in the society, in France… a limbo with no acts of love but many signs of violence. Each of the dramatis personae contributes with deeds and thoughts to the chain that brings about the death of the national hero, André Jurieu. A certain encounter in the conclusion is particularlystirring: Marceau and Octave, two marginal figures, exit from the scene of the death. The shot carries allegorical weight. It summarises the end of the French cinema of the 1930s and an entire epoch.

Peter von Bagh, Kymmenen elokuvaa [Ten Films], Love Kirjat, Helsinki 1984 (edited and translated by Antti


Cast and Credits

Scen.: Jean Renoir, Carl Koch. F.: Jean Bachelet. M.: Marguerite Renoir. Scgf.: Eugène Lourié. Mus.: Roger Désormières. Int.: Marcel Dalio (Marchese Robert de La Chesnaye), Nora Gregor (Christine de La Chesnaye), Roland Toutain (André Jurieu), Mila Parely (Geneviève de Marrast), Jean Renoir (Octave), Julien Carette (Marceau), Paulette Dubost (Lisette), Gaston Modot (Schumacher), Richard Francoeur (signor La Bruyère), Claire Gérard (signora La Bruyère). Prod.: Claude Renoir per Nouvelle Édition Française. DCP. D.: 112’. Bn.