A man and a woman arrive in a cafe-hotel near the belgian frontier. The customers recognize the man from the police's description. His name is Amedee Lange, he murdered Batala in Paris. His... See full summary »
A charismatic thief makes friends with a bankrupt baron who comes to live in the thief's slum. Meanwhile the thief seeks the love of a young woman, who is held emotionally captive by her slumlord family.
One of the first feminist movies, The Smiling Madame Beudet is the story of an intelligent woman trapped in a loveless marriage. Her husband is used to playing a stupid practical joke in ... See full summary »
Made for television, this film consists of four parts: Part One, "The Last Christmas Dinner," is about the relationship between an old man and an old woman, both homeless. Part Two, "The ... See full summary »
Vienna in the biggest depression, directly after WW1. In a slum, Lila Leid, the wife of lawyer Leid is murdered, Egon, secretary of one of Leid's clients is arrested. He was with her, and ... See full summary »
During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German POW camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
I just stumbled on this early and silent Renoir short (along with the delightfully bizarre 'Sur un air de Charleston') on a DVD of 'La Grand Illusion' and, really, I think I love it more even than that great film.
It's loosely based on 'The Little Match Girl' but owes as much to 'The Nutcracker'; a poor match-seller (played by Mrs. Renoir, the absolutely gorgeous and appealing Catherine Hessling, who can also be seen in 'Charleston'), overcome with hunger and cold, hallucinates the inhabitants of a toyshop window coming to life around her. I imagine the animation and other special effects must have been fairly pioneering - I'm certain they're more spellbinding than anything CGI could do - and the result is magical, enchanting, heartbreaking.
The version I saw had a haunting, note-perfect accordion soundtrack by Marc Perrone.
Much as I love his other work I could almost wish Renoir had gone on like this; I could wish cinema had gone on like this.
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