Important Announcement

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Film Club wants you!

On Monday the movie under discussion will be Jean Renoir’s THE RULES OF THE GAME. The first rule of Film Club is — talk about Film Club! Tell your friends! Big it up on your blogs, tweet and txt and spread the word. I can’t promise I’ll have anything intelligent to say but I know you will. See you Monday!

(Explanation for newbies: there’s nothing to explain. We all watch the film, then on Monday we discuss it in the comments section.)

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11 Responses to “Important Announcement”

  1. Suggested homework: Try to scare up a copy of Dreyer’s Mikael to see Nora Gregor at work.

    Roland Toutain was really something. Very much the Belmondo of his day (vis-a-vis physical stunts) in the great Marcel L’Herbier dyptych Le Mystere de la Chambre Jaune and Le Parfume de la Femme en Noir.

    Marcel Dalio is a cinematic world unto himself, and for my money the chief “outrage” of the film, being that he was Jewish.

    I adore his late performance (one of his last I believe) in Jean-Danile Pollet’s L’Amour C’est Gai L’Amour C’est Triste

  2. I have Mikael, not sure if I’ll have time to watch it properly but I might check out a scene or two for Nora’s sake. Dalio is fascinating, and his Jewishness actually being referred to in the film is slightly startling.

  3. I’ve seen Mikael available at my usual DVD shop and I confess that I’m gonna get it some day: Dreyer + a young Walter Slezack are enough interesting items to draw me towards a film.

    (Off-Topic: Slezack has a couple of Lifeboat anecdotes… Would you like a scan of the pages?)

  4. (where I wrote “Slezack” read “Slezack’s autobiography”)

  5. Arthur S. Says:

    The reference to de La Chesnaye’s ethnicity happens just once and it’s done by one of the staff who calls his boss a “meteque” and it never happens again but it informs Dalio’s character and especially what Renoir calls the most important camera movement in his career as an artist. The scene where he displays that moving thingamagig horloge and it pans right-to-left.

    I’ve never seen the Dreyer. Renoir cast Nora Gregor after seeing her in the audience of a play and expanded the character by making her an Austrian just like Nora. Nora’s husband was an exiled Austrian prince who fell out due to the Anschluss in Austria and I believe she committed suicide a few years later. It certainly suggests layers into her character.

    Incidentally, there are some people who have suggested that the english title ought to be a singular The Rule of the Game just like the French. The singular creates an ambiguity with the word “rule”. I’m comfortable with THE RULES OF THE GAME because Renoir sees his characters as independent agents who are capable of making the wrong choices at the wrong time.

  6. I’m comfortable with the plural too, becuase it’s obeviosu from the narrative there’s no single orcharchign rule governing these people’s lives but rather a series of interlocking ones.

  7. In the subtitles we have a line about “it’s against the rules,” which would be hard to translate in the singular without sounding awkward. So it works well with the dialogue.

  8. This is more or less off-topic (let alone being, what, seven months late?), but I justify it by the fact that: 1 Rules of the Game is my favorite movie most days (jousting with Yi Yi and Casablanca), and 2) I was busy de-personalizing my condo in late August so we could put it on the market (still available! E-mail me your best offer!) and thus missed this Film Club.

    Anyway: I’ve been on a Renoir kick the past month or so, watching Bodou Saved from Drowning, The Golden Coach, and, today, Elena and Her Men. And I have a question–one that I hope won’t be a complete stumper: good god, who is it that plays the gypsy fortune teller in Elena? She doesnt’ have much of a part: a couple of lines, a rescue of Ferrer’s character–but wow, does she have a face you can’t forget. Anyone happen to know?

    And now to read the Film Club discussion of Rules tomorrow when I ought to be working!

  9. Nice to hear from you!

    Not sure about the gypsy, but Elena may be the next Renoir I see (after just re-re-watching This land is Mine!), so I’ll watch out for her. The IMDb doesn’t list anybody as a gypsy, but there are a few unattributed names so there’s the possibility of a solution.

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