Etienne Alexis, a candidate for president of the new Europe, is a scientist promoting artificial insemination for social betterment and therapy to eliminate passion. His wealthy household (...
See full summary »
Join host Ben Lyons for our live conversation with Mike Colter, star of "Jessica Jones," and Rachael Harris, star of "Lucifer," as we discuss their latest projects and history in Hollywood. Tune into Amazon.com/IMDbAsks on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT to watch, live chat, and even ask a question yourself! This livestream is best viewed on laptops, desktops, and tablets.
An upper-class corporal from Paris is captured by the Germans when they invade France in 1940. Assisted and accompanied by characters as diverse as a morose dairy farmer, a waiter, a myopic... See full summary »
A young American serviceman, stationed in Germany after the fall of the Third Reich, jeopardises his position with the Marshall Plan relief effort by breaking the non-fraternisatiom rule ... See full summary »
Lawyer Ralph Anderson arrives in Tula, an amazingly remote town in the desert, as reluctant emissary of mob chief Victor Massonetti, who wants the airstrip clear for his unofficial exit ... See full summary »
A news-reel like movie about early part of the French 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 »
Ursus returns from war to find his fiancée, Attea, has been kidnapped by a mysterious sect which sacrifices virgins to its patron goddess. Ursus faces much treachery and is forced to ... See full summary »
Etienne Alexis, a candidate for president of the new Europe, is a scientist promoting artificial insemination for social betterment and therapy to eliminate passion. His wealthy household (his family owns chemical corporations that will profit from his ideas) is stiff, intellectual, and sterile. To celebrate his engagement to a German cousin, he hosts an aseptic picnic, where mother nature asserts herself. A shepherd's flute conjures a windstorm that throws Alexis together with the luscious Nénette, a farm lass who wants to have a baby but is unimpressed with men. Written by
The third part of Renoir's impressionist trilogy ("The River," and "French Cancan" are the others) is a gorgeously photographed panorama of the French countryside which serves as the background for a picnic thrown by a biologist who has perfected a method for 'artificial insemination,' and who furthermore, is about to run for "President of Europe!"
Catherine Rouvel plays Nennette, a beautiful country girl who has had bad luck with men but would very much like to have a baby. After hearing about the famous doctor's techniques she decides to go and volunteer for 'artificial insemination.' She ends up being employed by the doctor's staff and goes on the country picnic with them, during which the picnicers are subjected to 'mysterious occurrences and temptations' which are produced when a certain goat-shepherd plays his wooden flute! The famous biologist, very detached and committed to strict methods of reason, starts to discover the higher harmonies embedded in nature while he falls in love with the lovely Nennette, a union to which his political cronies are opposed.
The film is rich with fantastically beautiful images. The scene of Rouvel taking a skinny dip while the doctor casts quick diffident glances her way is one of the most poetic in all of cinema. Of special note also is the scene where all the picnicers ride on mopeds through the country lanes, which was the direct inspiration for the famous bicycling scene in Truffaut's "Jules and Jim."
Renoir takes what may at first seem like just a trivial comedy and turns it into an ultra-subtle, timeless and poetic meditation on the conflict between modern society and 'natural imperatives.' As always it is Renoir's deeply romantic (in the best sense of the word)and compassionate view of humanity which underlies everything and makes his criticisms so poignant.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?