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Re: Jean Renoir: Silents

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:07 am
by arsaib4
Glad you watched it. Thanks for the comments. Now I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by Renoir's level of accomplishment in Nana.

Re: Jean Renoir: Silents

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:22 am
by wpqx
God only knows when I'll get to it, between school, community service, and Cubs playoffs I don't plan on having a life for the next month.

Re: Jean Renoir: Silents

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:30 pm
by wpqx
Did get to watch Nana and was disappointed by it. I missed the more loosely experimental style of Whirlpool of Fate which seemed a little more connected to Renoir's body of work. Nana was a bit long and seemed like one of many Greta Garbo vehicles and I didn't buy the title character.

Re: Jean Renoir: Silents

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 3:08 am
by arsaib4
I think Nana is at least as formally innovative and is more sophisticated in its approach than the other silents. It's also "richer" in terms of character (Hessling's performance, notwithstanding), and offers the key theme of life's theatricality which Renoir often went back to. Having said that, as you can see I had similar issues with the work.

Re: Jean Renoir: Silents

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 3:13 am
by wpqx
Funny you mention its theatricality. This came across like a very theatrical film, and the huge sets made me think I was sitting in the balcony of a theater watching a play. Tonight I watched Charleston and The Little Matchgirl which certainly were interesting. I believe I had seen Charleston as part of some avant-garde program but that one was highly amusing. Renoir seemed to be making films in a very classicalist sense. Nana comes across as a stale Porter adaptation, and these two films, particularly Charleston seems straight out of Mellies. Interesting films in their own right and I can't help but admire anything remotely surreal.

Re: Jean Renoir: Silents

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:04 am
by wpqx
Moved on to Tire-au-flanc which I discovered contained German subtitles so I was hopelessly lost. I attempted to read both French and German titles in the hope that between the two languages I could figure it out. Of course I can't find much of a plot synopsis here (this will change when I consult my Renoir book) so I barely feel like I saw the film. Renoir's sense of humor was coming through a bit in this film and Michel Simon is a delight as usual. I also noticed that in addition to not being able to understand the intertitles there happened to be a shitload of them. Anyways I just hope the next film I can read.

Re: Jean Renoir: Silents

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:05 am
by arsaib4
I haven't yet seen that 1928 effort. Did you import the 3-disc French set? It appears that The Sad Sack is also available on DVD in Spain.

Re: Jean Renoir: Silents

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 6:46 pm
by wpqx
No this was a VHS at Facets. I watched Tournament which I believe was his final silent film. Not that great but anticipated some future efforts notably Le Marsailles. In other Renoir news I moved on to Madame Bovary and Toni, but that would be a whole new thread that I don't have time to make.

Re: Jean Renoir: Silents

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 3:13 am
by arsaib4
In that case Tire au flanc must've been a PAL-to-NTSC conversion. I believe it was the first collaboration between Renoir and Simon. Tournament exists on VHS but isn't readily available, at least if you don't live in a major U.S. market.

Re: Jean Renoir: Silents

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 8:32 pm
by wpqx
A seems to have the upper hand on all of us with that retro, I did pick up a PAL DVD of Swamp Water but that's next to watch.