Jean Renoir

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Arts, Biography Documentary hosted by Harriet Walter, published by BBC broadcasted as part of BBC Omnibus series in 1993 - English narration

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Image: Jean-Renoir-Cover.jpg

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David Thompson's beguiling documentary on Renoir's life and work, made for the occasion of the one-hundredth anniversary of his birth. Born 100 years ago, Jean Renoir (1894-1979) is considered by many the greatest of film directors. Omnibus presents a two-part investigation of Renoir's life and career, coinciding with a short season of his films on BBC2. The son of Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Jean's career began in the silent era but his most acclaimed films date from the 1930s. His films are said to reflect his father's love of nature and deep humanity, and have long been an inspiration to other directors as well as audiences. This uniquely captivating documentary made for the BBC explores the life and work of Jean Renoir for the occasion of the director's centenary. Interviewed are many of Renoir's "family"-not just his son Alain but the many colleagues and friends who remained close to the director up to his death in 1979. Many major filmmakers appear, to shed light on Renoir's style and technique, as does Renoir himself in important extracts from past interviews. Directors Bernardo Bertolucci, Peter Bogdanovich and Claude Chabrol are among those interviewed. The importance of friendship--as well as the pursuit of happiness and the dislike of perfection--were just some of the principles Jean shared with his hugely influential father, the painter Pierre Auguste Renoir. As we are taken through the idyllic provincial childhood and idealistic adulthood of the artist, we come to understand the director's statement, "You know, one tells the same story throughout one's life. We have one story in mind, and we discover different aspects of it, little by little." And what a story it is. In 1975 Jean Renoir was awarded an honorary Academy Award for his lifetime contribution to film. He is considered one of the first great auteurs, a cinematic master whose distinctive style always contained a concern for human issues and a reverence for natural beauty. Directed and Produced by David Thompson

[edit] From La Belle Epoque to World War II

As the son of the great impressionist painter, Auguste Renoir, the filmmaker as a young man was encouraged to freely explore artistic and intellectual pursuits. He eventually chose ceramics, but during a long convalescence, developed a passion for film. His first film, LA FILLE DE L'EAU (1925) THE WHIRLPOOL OF FATE, and other silent films display early signs of what was to become characteristic of Renoir's work--a sense of visual realism, the love of nature and the poetic representation of the physical environment.
First episode "From La Belle Epoque to World War II" follows Renoir from his youthful love of movies, aerial photography work in the French air force, marriage, first film with actress-wife Catherine Hessling, to early sound films like "Boudu Saved From Drowning," to the string of classics, including "Grand Illusion" and "Rules of the Game."

[edit] Hollywood and Beyond

It was Renoir's "Popular Front" films of the late 1930s which brought him international acclaim. These films include such incontrovertible cinematic classics as LE CRIME DE M. LANGE (1936), LA BETE HUMAINE (1938), LA REGLE DU JEU (1939) and LA GRANDE ILLUSION (1937). Renoir left occupied France in 1940 and began a career in Hollywood, but failed to adapt to their ways.
Second part "Hollywood and Beyond" begins with his 1941 arrival in Hollywood, unhappy experiences at 20th Century Fox, and subsequent career that produced titles like "This Land is Mine","The Diary of a Chambermaid" and the Indian-set "The River." He returned to Europe to make such films as "The Golden Coach" and "French Cancan," but lived out his final years in a modest house in Beverly Hills. Sad ending notes that on his final film, "Le Petit Theatre de Jean Renoir" (1969), he was initially refused an advance. Including rare archive footage and BBC interviews with Renoir himself.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4
Video Bitrate: 1 814 Kbps
Video Resolution: 720x552
Display Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Frames Per Second: 29.970 fps
Audio Codec: AC3
Audio Bitrate: 192 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 1 h
Number Of Parts: 2
Part Size: 862 MB
Source: DVD (Thanks to Isis & JB@a.b.dvd.criterion,a.b.dvd.classics)
Encoded by: DocFreak08

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