Archive for November 10th, 2008


by Sam Juliano

     The Holocaust in recent years has proven as durable a subject as any for both documentary and feature directors.  It has become so commonplace in fact, that many have evinced disdain for the subject entirely as it invariably walks the same paths and ends up in the same places.  While a number of these films have used the Holocaust as a subtext, or were written directly for the screen, others like Schindler’s List and Fateless were based on highly-praised literary works.  The latest foray into this seemingly inexhaustible subject of human misery and degradation, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, similarly was based on a well-received novel of the same title by John Boyle, and it concerns the childhood friendship between the son of a German commandant and his wife, and a Jewish boy held captive in a nearby concentration camp.  The boys, Bruno and Shmuel are separated by barbed wire, but through a series of circumstances their lives fatefully converge.  The rather unusual twist of this story is a deliberate attempt to add to the cinematic literature of brutality, oppression and bigotry, and its denouement makes no secret of it’s full endorsement of the age-old adages “you reap what you sow” or “what goes around comes around.”      (more…)

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by Allan Fish

no 2 in the 1930s countdown…

(France 1939 109m) DVD1/2

Aka. The Rules of the Game

Everyone has their reasons

p  Claude Renoir  d  Jean Renoir  w  Jean Renoir, Carl Koch  ph  Jean Bachelet, Alain Renoir  ed  Marguerite Renoir, Marthe Huguet  m  Joseph Kosma, Roger Desormières  art  Eugène Lourié, Max Douy  cos  Coco Chanel

Marcel Dalio (Robert de la Chesnaye), Nora Gregor (Christine de la Chesnaye), Mila Parèly (Genevieve de Marrast), Jean Renoir (Octave), Julien Carette (Marceau), Roland Toutain (André Jurieu), Gaston Modot (Schumacher), Paulette Dubost (Lisette), Odette Talazac (Charlotte de la Plante), Pierre Magnier (The General),

We all have our favourite human images in French cinema; Michèle Morgan under that beret, Jean-Paul Belmondo imitating Bogie, Jean-Pierre Léaud in that chequered jacket, Jean-Louis Barrault in mime make-up, Brigitte Bardot in deliciously little, the list is endless.  Yet if one had to name one film to perfectly represent the French nation and its cinema, it would have to be Renoir’s masterpiece, a film that has an entire cast of types and an iconic cast to play them.  No other film has quite the same texture, deftly blending together divers elements, from tragedy to melodrama, and from low marital farce to high comedy, with liberal sprinklings of social satire.  So many plaudits have been tossed its way and it has been analysed in detail on so many occasions that often, as with Citizen Kane, it’s easy to forget to watch Jeu just as a film, and a marvellous film it is.  (more…)

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