A news-reel like movie about early part of the Frensh Revolution, shown from the eyes of individual people, citizens of Marseille, counts in German exile and, of course the king Louis XVI, ... See full summary »
A news-reel like movie about early part of the Frensh Revolution, shown from the eyes of individual people, citizens of Marseille, counts in German exile and, of course the king Louis XVI, showing their own small problems. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
The cast is grouped in 5 categories in the credits: First, 'The Court' (La Cour), then 'The Civil Authorities and the Military' (Les Autorités Civiles & Militaires), 'The Aristocrats' (Les Aristocrates), followed by 'The Marseille Folks' (Les Marseillais) and finally 'The People' (Le Peuple). See more »
You do the hokey-pokey...and that's what it's all about
La Marseillaise depicts lesser known stories attached to the events in Versailles in 1789 which led to the downfall of the monarchy. Renoir continues with a consistent stylistic system - great depth of field, two-shot closeups, framing of crowds, mobile framing, polyvocal (accents). In fact, aristocrats and citizens receive the same treatment from the camera. The exception is with the King and Queen who receive one-shot closeups, however, this seems more in the service of a dialectic regarding the Brunswick Manifesto than it being about psychological identification. This story is symbolic and likely the symbolism and abstraction is what led to the film not being as popular as was expected. There is also a confusion for the spectator because of Renoir's humanist treatment. Bumpkins are charming, aristocrats are accepting and armies more or less fight together instead of against each other. Renoir often spoke out against violence in film and this might be another disappointment for audiences at the time. Most violence is dissuaded through crafty acts of oration. The brains over brawn theme certainly lacks something of the 'common touch'. The breaking down of the song into parceled quotations reminds of the French New Wave's often lyrical and intellectual modes of expression. There is a monarchist rhetoric that runs through the film regarding order versus anarchy... yet there is little example of anarchy but also no false reprisal by monarchists against citizens. The treatment of war is tepid, but it just goes to show that Renoir was never comfortable representing hardened political positions.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?