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 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 lady friend Valentine tells the whole story : Lange was an employee in Batala's little printing works. Batala was a real bastard, swindling every one, seducing female workers of Valentine's laundry... One day he fled to avoid facing his creditors, and the workers set up a cooperative to go on working. But the plot is less important that the description of the atmosphere just before the Popular Front. Written by
According to film scholar Alexander Sesonske, the Catalan painter Jean Castanyer (also spelled "Castanier") approached his friend Jacques Becker with the idea of a film about "a likable little world of print-shop workers and laundresses who form a cooperative" to be called Sur la Cour, which Becker would direct. Becker was much taken by the idea, but the producer who took on the project didn't trust him, and decided to offer it to the more experienced director Jean Renoir, for whom Becker had already worked as assistant director on several pictures. Becker was reportedly so furious at Renoir for directing "his" film that he refused to work as assistant director on the production, though he would later work again as Renoir's assistant on several films (e.g. La Grande Illusion), before becoming a full-time director himself. See more »
Perfect, a kind of masterpiece on a few cups of coffee
Hard to believe this was made in 1934. It is further ahead than movies of today by 100 years, with ideas, ironies, and characters worthy of fine literature. A classic, made by a serious filmmaker. Maybe its most distinctive feature is its seeming absolute effortlessness. It moves along at an extremely fast pace, and if you don't watch and listen, you'll miss some gems. The villain is magnificent and done with such accuracy and a complete lack of stylized fiendishness that you realize Renoir is a master of human psychology. There are many little jokes throughout--jokes and ironies that are far beyond what people say and think today. The reaction of a man to the death of a baby, the way sex among unmarried people, even very casual sex, is portrayed as utterly normal. You have the feeling throughout that you are not watching a movie but are watching some lives pass by--it is participatory rather than self-glorifying film-making (see Oliver Stone and even some Spielberg for that) But if you like Britney Spears and think Colin Farrel can act, this isn't for you.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?