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Friday, 24 May, 2013 09:59 pm


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If you have ever studied art you obviously know the name Renoir. If you haven't then here is a brief synopsis. 

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841- 1919) was a French Impressionist painter whose works include Nude in the Sunlight, Bathers, A Young Girl with Daisies, Luncheon of the Boating Party among many others. 

If your interests lie in film, you may recognize the name Jean Renoir.

Jean Renoir (1894-1979) is the son of Pierre-Auguste Renoir whose work in the film industry include Grand Illusion, The Rules of the Game, and The Southerner.



It doesn't take a genius to realize that the Renoir's were drinking some pure well water. 

The 2013 French film Renoir does it's best to live up to the standards of what the Renoir's would expect. Director Gilles Bourdos depiction of Renoir is eloquently intertwined with the brilliant cinematographer Ping Bin Lee. The two pair up to create a film encompassing shooting techniques obviously designed to look both like a Renoir painting and a Renoir film. But I am not going to bother you with technical aspects like dolly moves, key lighting and continuity. I will save that for a later time.

I want to talk to you about what the film meant to me.  

Having lost my father a year and a half ago I was drawn to this films depiction of men. Baby's growing to young boy's, young boy's becoming men, and men growing old and dying. and the relationships or lack thereof towards each other. The men are all broken, scarred and dying, all but one. The only male that is relevant in this film who does not show outward signs of disfigurement is "Coco." Coco (Thomas Doret) longed for his fathers attention but to no avail. Now I do not know the relationship between Pierre and his father, but I get the feeling when I watch this that Coco is being portrayed as a young Pierre. The only thing that Pierre and Coco have in common is the asthitic knowledge of beauty in the womens form, and the self pity as a child. Cocos only affliction is that constant sorrow of being consistently bothered by the hormonal imbalance with only the nudes his father paints as an outlet. That and his naivety by confusing his fathers tough love with indifference.





     Little Blue Nude              




Pierre-Auguste Renoirs (Michel Bouquets) crippled hands deliver the subtleness needed to transpose, the beauty seen, to canvas. Always quick to offer up a life lesson that maybe he himself doesn't believe. But it is the silence between the words that is intended for the viewers. The pain, sorrow, guilt are so believable that you often ache with the emotions in your body. His love for his children are second to the women in his life, and third to his art, and it's obvious because only the loss of a women can cause that much suffering. 

Jean Renoir (Vincent Rottiers) , on the other hand is the protical son who goes out to defend his country, becomes injured and returnees home to find love. Typical romance fodder right. No. We do not get the typical hollywood moment when Mr. X loves Mrs. X and the sound track gets loud and everything becomes fuzzy. It's all very calm and quit French in the approach to the romance. Whats fun about this film is that it doesent take itself to seriously. We do not see any sex, but we see the beauty of the nudes quit frequently as Auguste turns them into masterpieces. 


     The Large Bathers     

We never get to involved with the women except for Andree Heuschling (Christa Theret) who is the beautiful muse which Pierre uses for "Blonde a la Rose" and "The Bathers".  Like all the women is this film, she is not portrayed by a disfigurement, but eloquent, and full of understanding what men want. It could be interpreted that the women in this film are subordinate, but let me reassure you that they are strong and supportive. Their love for the men in the Renoir family goes without saying. And say they little.

If you have nothing to do one rainy day, call your dad, son or brother and check out Renoir. It's a educated film about educated men.


Nude In The Sunlight                   


     Films by Jean Renoir



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