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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.
In Peru in the eighteenth century. Camilla, the star of a theater company, hesitates between three men. The Viceroy gives her his magnificent golden coach. A young Spanish officer suggests the two of them settle down together among Indians. Ramon, a torero, offers her a share of his glory.Written by
Vincent Merlaud <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Renoir brought a new authorial voice to his work with The Diary of a Chambermaid which carried over into the "trilogy" of Carosse D'Or, French CanCan and Elena. The trilogy therefore is a bit of a misnomer despite Diary admittedly being more transitional than the three color productions which soon followed. Renoir introduces Carosse as a "fantasy" in the "spanish style" and it was at this time in his life where he was ready to dedicate himself to theater. The opening shot is a fantastic reflective juxtaposition of the theater stage and the cinema screen. Deep staging is important to the mise-en-scene, but there is little long take mobile framing. One-shot closeups, pov and shot-reverse-shot create a sense of psychological identification. The polyvocal system is less logical than Grande Illusion and more at the service of Magnani (much in the same way that Goddard was the focal point of Diary). A montage of shots connected through dissolves as well as the static camera solidify a sense of tableau fitting appropriately with the specularity of the commedia dell'arte theme. The viceroy is Camilla's muse sooner than the typical inverse. He provides a sensitivity that reminds of Le Baron in Bas Fonds... and his fascinations are just as patronizing and unsettling. There is a voyeuristic theme within the specular structure which raises questions about the great depth of field relating to privilege as opposed to realism. Renoir would take a new look at this at the end of Cancan when Gabin rehearses the performance in his mind from backstage. The Golden Coach is very much a film these for Renoir as he plays out the most important elements of his personal philosophy - that of internal and external truths and the masks that people wear to manage their relationship and mode of expression. For a fun, light film there is a lot of powerful expression in Carosse D'Or.
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