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 »
In the 1920s, the Provence is a magnet for immigrants seeking work in the quarries or in agriculture. Many mingle with locals and settle down permanently - like Toni, an Italian who has ... See full summary »
After her father's death and her uncle having drunk all the inheritance, Virginia is left alone. She is accepted by a family of bohemians but a quarrel between the bohemians and the ... 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.
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 »
Mr. Joly, doctor Cordelier's lawyer, is amazed to discover that his client and friend leaves his possessions to a stranger, Opale, a sadistic criminal. He needs this man to prove that people's behavior can be adjusted at will...
La Petite Marchande D'Allumettes is another of Renoir's bleak portrayals of meek and meager lives at odds with their milieu. Something about it though feels like a re-hashing of earlier Renoir works (Une Vie and La Fille...even Nana). This piece was filmed in the Vieux-Colombier and produced by Tedesco. I conjecture (or just straight up fantasize) that the pair brainstormed on a film concept that was to be "suited" for Renoir and Hessling together. I imagine the idea of adapting a famous tale (Andersen's short story) as a compromise (never a great way to produce art imo)... and what you get is something not quite original in any way whatsoever. Now, that isn't to say that the French Impressionist film techniques used in the hallucination sequences are not constructed and crafted with technical precision and genius intuition... but that it was already fertile ground for Renoir (and Hessling for that matter). I have previously hypothesized that some of Renoir's silent work was prophecy and prognostication through forming a death allegory between human freedom and the film industry itself. This may have been the last time that Renoir favored a stylistic system constructed around a protagonist's psychology and showcasing avant-garde editing techniques (impossible to say without a full print of Le Tournoi available). Certainly, Renoir's next film, Tire au Flanc would begin a shift toward a dominant stylistic system and diegetic construction (characterized by depth of field, mobile framing, multiple protagonists, etc.) that marked Renoir as a unique and exceptional filmmaker. Interesting also, that it was not sound film production that spurred this stylistic shift for Renoir as Tire was a silent film (although, I do believe it may have been the imminence of sound film that also had Renoir thinking one step ahead).
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