Thursday, January 28, 2016

On purge bébé

1931, France, directed by Jean Renoir

A film that Renoir by all accounts made to show his ability to film with sound on a budget, in order to impress potential producers. Obviously, though, he was already an experienced filmmaker and despite the film's pretty straightforward nature he clearly spent at least some time working on direct sound, use of diegetic music, and, from time to time, on the framing of actors' faces, although some of the film is shot in a theatrical format that underlines the picture's stage origins. The most interesting points, for me, were on the casting level -- an exceptionally early, blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance from Fernandel, and, far more substantial, an amusing turn from Michel Simon, already cast in roles far beyond his years.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States