Jean Renoir
Get Jean Renoir essential facts below. View Videos or join the Jean Renoir discussion. Add Jean Renoir to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir photo.jpg
Born(1894-09-15)15 September 1894
Died12 February 1979(1979-02-12) (aged 84)
OccupationFilm director, actor, screenwriter, producer, author
Years active1924-1978
Catherine Hessling (1920-1930)
Dido Freire (1944-1979)
Marguerite Renoir (1932–1939)

Jean Renoir (French: [nwa?]; 15 September 1894 – 12 February 1979) was a French film director, screenwriter, actor, producer and author. As a film director and actor, he made more than forty films from the silent era to the end of the 1960s. His films La Grande Illusion (1937) and The Rules of the Game (1939) are often cited by critics as among the greatest films ever made. He was ranked by the BFI's Sight & Sound poll of critics in 2002 as the fourth greatest director of all time. Among numerous honors accrued during his lifetime, he received a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award in 1975 for his contribution to the motion picture industry. Renoir was the son of the painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir. He was one of the first filmmakers to be known as an auteur.[1][2][3]

Early life and early career

The young Renoir with Gabrielle Renard in a painting by his father Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Renoir was born in the Montmartre district of Paris, France. He was the second son of Aline (née Charigot) Renoir and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the renowned painter. His elder brother was Pierre Renoir, a French stage and film actor, and his younger brother Claude Renoir (1901-1969) had a brief career in the film industry, mostly assisting on a few of Jean's films.[] Jean Renoir was also the uncle of Claude Renoir (1913-1993), the son of Pierre, a cinematographer who worked with Jean Renoir on several of his films.

Renoir was largely raised by Gabrielle Renard, his nanny and his mother's cousin, with whom he developed a strong bond. Shortly before his birth, she had come to live with the Renoir family.[4] She introduced the young boy to the Guignol puppet shows in Montmartre, which influenced his later film career. He wrote in his 1974 memoirs My Life and My Films, "She taught me to see the face behind the mask and the fraud behind the flourishes. She taught me to detest the cliché."[5] Gabrielle was also fascinated by the new early motion pictures, and when Renoir was only a few years old she took him to see his first film.

As a child, Renoir moved to the south of France with his family. He and the rest of the Renoir family were the subjects of many of his father's paintings. His father's financial success ensured that the young Renoir was educated at fashionable boarding schools, from which, as he later wrote, he frequently ran away.[6]

At the outbreak of World War I, Renoir was serving in the French cavalry. Later, after receiving a bullet in his leg, he served as a reconnaissance pilot.[7] His leg injury left him with a permanent limp, but allowed him to discover the cinema, since he recuperated by watching films with his leg elevated, including the works of Charlie Chaplin, D. W. Griffith and others.[8][9] After the war, Renoir followed his father's suggestion and tried his hand at making ceramics, but he soon set that aside to create films. He was particularly inspired by Erich von Stroheim's work.[10][11]

In 1924, Renoir directed Une Vie Sans Joie or Catherine, the first of his nine silent films, most of which starred his first wife, Catherine Hessling. She was also his father's last model.[12] At this stage, his films did not produce a return. Renoir gradually sold paintings inherited from his father to finance them.[13]

International success in the 1930s

During the 1930s Renoir enjoyed great success as a filmmaker. In 1931 he directed his first sound films, On purge bébé (Baby's Laxative) and La Chienne (The Bitch).[14] The following year he made Boudu Saved from Drowning (Boudu sauvé des eaux), a farcical sendup of the pretensions of a middle-class bookseller and his family, who meet with comic, and ultimately disastrous, results when they attempt to reform a vagrant played by Michel Simon.[15]

By the middle of the decade, Renoir was associated with the Popular Front. Several of his films, such as The Crime of Monsieur Lange (Le Crime de Monsieur Lange, 1935), Life Belongs to Us (1936) and La Marseillaise (1938), reflect the movement's politics.[16][17]

In 1937, he made La Grande Illusion, one of his better-known films, starring Erich von Stroheim and Jean Gabin. A film on the theme of brotherhood, relating a series of escape attempts by French POWs during World War I, it was enormously successful. It was banned in Germany, and later in Italy, after having won the Best Artistic Ensemble award at the Venice Film Festival.[18] It was the first foreign language film to receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

He followed it with The Human Beast (La Bête Humaine) (1938), a film noir and tragedy based on the novel by Émile Zola and starring Simone Simon and Jean Gabin. This film also was a cinematic success.[19]

In 1939, able to co-finance his own films,[20] Renoir made The Rules of the Game (La Règle du Jeu), a satire on contemporary French society with an ensemble cast.[21] Renoir played the character Octave, who serves to connect characters from different social strata.[22] The film was his greatest commercial failure,[23] met with derision by Parisian audiences at its premiere. He extensively reedited the work, but without success at the time.[24]

A few weeks after the outbreak of World War II, the film was banned by the government. Renoir was a known pacifist and supporter of the French Communist Party, which made him suspect in the tense weeks before the war began.[25] The ban was lifted briefly in 1940, but after the fall of France that June, it was banned again.[26] Subsequently, the original negative of the film was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid.[26] It was not until the 1950s that French film enthusiasts Jean Gaborit and Jacques Durand, with Renoir's cooperation, reconstructed a near-complete print of the film.[27][28] Since that time, The Rules of the Game has been reappraised and has frequently appeared near the top of critics' polls of the best films ever made.[29][30]

A week after the disastrous premiere of The Rules of the Game in July 1939, Renoir went to Rome with Karl Koch and Dido Freire, subsequently his second wife, to work on the script for a film version of Tosca.[31][32] At the age of 45, he became a lieutenant in the French Army Film Service. He was sent back to Italy, to teach film at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome, and resume work on Tosca.[31][33][34] The French government hoped this cultural exchange would help maintain friendly relations with Italy, which had not yet entered the war.[31][33][35] He abandoned the project to return to France and make himself available for military service in August 1939.[36][37][38]

Hollywood years

After Germany invaded France in May 1940, Renoir fled to the United States with Dido Freire.[39][40] In Hollywood, Renoir had difficulty finding projects that suited him.[41] His first American film, Swamp Water (1941), was a drama starring Dana Andrews and Walter Brennan. He co-produced and directed an anti-Nazi film set in France, This Land Is Mine (1943), starring Maureen O'Hara and Charles Laughton.[42][43]The Southerner (1945) is a film about Texas sharecroppers that is often regarded as his best American film. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Directing for this work.[44][45][46]

Diary of a Chambermaid (1946) is an adaptation of the Octave Mirbeau novel, Le Journal d'une femme de chambre, starring Paulette Goddard and Burgess Meredith.[47][48] His The Woman on the Beach (1947), starring Joan Bennett and Robert Ryan, was heavily reshot and reedited after it fared poorly among preview audiences in California.[49] Both films were poorly received; they were the last films Renoir made in America.[50][51][52] At this time, Renoir became a naturalized citizen of the United States.[53]

Post-Hollywood career

In 1949 Renoir traveled to India to shoot The River (1951), his first color film.[54] Based on the novel of the same name by Rumer Godden, the film is both a meditation on human beings' relationship with nature and a coming of age story of three young girls in colonial India.[55] The film won the International Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1951.[56]

After returning to work in Europe, Renoir made a trilogy of color musical comedies on the subjects of theater, politics and commerce: Le Carrosse d'or (The Golden Coach, 1953) with Anna Magnani; French Cancan (1954) with Jean Gabin and María Félix; and Eléna et les hommes (Elena and Her Men, 1956) with Ingrid Bergman and Jean Marais.[57] During the same period Renoir produced Clifford Odets' play The Big Knife in Paris. He also wrote his own play, Orvet, and produced it in Paris featuring Leslie Caron.[58][59]

Renoir made his next films with techniques adapted from live television.[60]Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe (Picnic on the Grass, 1959), starring Paul Meurisse and Catherine Rouvel, was filmed on the grounds of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's home in Cagnes-sur-Mer, and Le Testament du docteur Cordelier (The Testament of Doctor Cordelier, also 1959), starring Jean-Louis Barrault, was made in the streets of Paris and its suburbs.[61][62]

Renoir's penultimate film, Le Caporal épinglé (The Elusive Corporal, 1962), with Jean-Pierre Cassel and Claude Brasseur,[63] is set among French POWs during their internment in labor camps by the Nazis during World War II. The film explores the twin human needs for freedom, on the one hand, and emotional and economic security, on the other.[64][65]

Renoir's loving memoir of his father, Renoir, My Father (1962) describes the profound influence his father had on him and his work.[66] As funds for his film projects were becoming harder to obtain, Renoir continued to write screenplays for income. He published a novel, The Notebooks of Captain Georges, in 1966.[67][68]Captain Georges is the nostalgic account of a wealthy young man's sentimental education and love for a peasant girl, a theme also explored earlier in his films Diary of a Chambermaid and Picnic on the Grass.[69]

Last years

Renoir's last film is Le Petit théâtre de Jean Renoir (The Little Theatre of Jean Renoir, 1969).[70] The film is a series of three short films made in a variety of styles. It is, in many ways, one of his most challenging, avant-garde and unconventional works.[71][72]

Unable to obtain financing for his films and suffering declining health, Renoir spent his last years receiving friends at his home in Beverly Hills, and writing novels and his memoirs.[73]

In 1973 Renoir was preparing a production of his stage play, Carola, with Leslie Caron and Mel Ferrer when he fell ill and was unable to direct. The producer Norman Lloyd, a friend and actor in The Southerner, took over the direction of the play. It was broadcast in the series program Hollywood Television Theater on WNET, Channel 13, New York on February 3, 1973.[74]

Renoir's memoir, My Life and My Films, was published in 1974. He wrote of the influence exercised by Gabrielle Renard, his nanny and his mother's cousin, with whom he developed a mutual lifelong bond. He concluded his memoirs with the words he had often spoken as a child, "Wait for me, Gabrielle."[75]

In 1975 Renoir received a lifetime Academy Award for his contribution to the motion picture industry. That same year a retrospective of his work was shown at the National Film Theatre in London.[76] Also in 1975, the government of France elevated him to the rank of commander in the Légion d'honneur.[77]

Jean Renoir died in Beverly Hills, California on February 12, 1979 of a heart attack.[78] His body was returned to France and buried beside his family in the cemetery at Essoyes, Aube, France.[79]

Legacy

On his death, fellow director and friend Orson Welles wrote an article for the Los Angeles Times, titled "Jean Renoir: The Greatest of All Directors".[80] Renoir's films have also influenced many other directors, including Satyajit Ray,[81]Éric Rohmer,[82]Luchino Visconti,[83]Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet,[84]Peter Bogdanovich,[85]François Truffaut,[86]Robert Altman,[87]Errol Morris[88]Martin Scorsese[89] and Mike Leigh.[90]

Jean Renoir has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6212 Hollywood Blvd.[91] Several of his ceramics were collected by Albert Barnes, who was a major patron and collector of his father. These can be found on display beneath his father's paintings at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.[92]

Renoir's son Alain Renoir (1921-2008) became a professor of English and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley and a scholar of medieval English literature.[93]

Awards

  • Chevalier de Légion d'honneur, 1936[94]
  • Selznick Golden Laurel Award for lifetime work, Brazilian Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro, 1958[95]
  • Prix Charles Blanc, Académie française, for Renoir, My Father, biography of father, 1963[96]
  • Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts, University of California, Berkeley, 1963[97]
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1964[97]
  • Osella d'Oro as a master of the cinema, Venice Festival, 1968[98]
  • Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, Royal College of Art, London, 1971[74]
  • Honorary Academy Award for Career Accomplishment, 1974[99]
  • Special Award, National Society of Film Critics, 1975[100]
  • Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur, 1975[77]
  • Prix Goncourt de la Biographie, 2013

Filmography

Selected writings

  • 1955: Orvet, Paris: Gallimard, play.
  • 1962: Renoir, Paris: Hachette (Renoir, My Father), biography.
  • 1966: Les Cahiers du Capitaine Georges, Paris: Gallimard (The Notebooks of Captain Georges), novel.
  • 1974: Ma Vie et mes Films, Paris: Flammarion (My Life and My Films), autobiography.
  • 1974: Écrits 1926-1971 (Claude Gauteur, ed.), Paris: Pierre Belfond, writings.
  • 1976: Carola, in "L'Avant-Scène du Théâtre" no. 597, November 1, 1976, screenplay.
  • 1978: Le Coeur à l'aise, Paris: Flammarion, novel.
  • 1978 Julienne et son amour; suivi d'En avant Rosalie!, Paris: Henri Veyrier, screenplays.
  • 1979: Jean Renoir: Entretiens et propos (Jean Narboni, ed.), Paris: Éditions de l'étoile/Cahiers du Cinéma, interviews and remarks.
  • 1979: Le crime de l'Anglais, Paris: Flammarion, novel.
  • 1980: Geneviève, Paris: Flammarion, novel.
  • 1981: OEuvres de cinéma inédités (Claude Gauteur, ed.), Paris: Gallimard, synopses and treatments.
  • 1984: Lettres d'Amérique (Dido Renoir & Alexander Sesonske, eds.), Paris: Presses de la Renaissance ISBN 2-85616-287-8, correspondence.
  • 1989: Renoir on Renoir: Interviews, Essays, and Remarks (Carol Volk, tr.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • 1994: Jean Renoir: Letters (David Thompson and Lorraine LoBianco, eds.), London: Faber & Faber, correspondence.

See also

References

  1. ^ O'Shaughnessy, Martin; O'Shaughnessy, Professor of Film Studies Martin (2000-10-20). Jean Renoir. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 14. ISBN 9780719050633.
  2. ^ Braudy, Leo (1994-07-15). "The Auteur Who Coined the Word : Commentary: A Jean Renoir expert says UCLA's retrospective attempts to answer age-old questions about art". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved .
  3. ^ François, Truffaut (1954). "A Certain Tendency of French Cinema (Une Certaine Tendance du Cinéma Français)". www.newwavefilm.com. Retrieved .
  4. ^ My Life and My Films, p. 16
  5. ^ My Life and My Films, pp. 29, 282
  6. ^ Renoir, Jean. Renoir My Father, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1962, pp. 417-419; 425-429
  7. ^ Durgnat, Raymond. Jean Renoir, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1974, pp. 27-28
  8. ^ Renoir, Jean. My Life and My Films, New York: Atheneum, 1974, pp. 40-43
  9. ^ Renoir My Father, pp. 417-19.
  10. ^ My Life and My Films, pp. 47-48.
  11. ^ "Memories" by Jean Renoir, reprinted from Le Point, XVIII, December 1938 in Bazin, Andre. Jean Renoir, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973, pp. 151-152
  12. ^ Durgnat, p. 29. The name of the film was Une Vie Sans Joie or Catherine.
  13. ^ My Life and My Films, pp. 81-85
  14. ^ Durgnat, pp. 64, 68
  15. ^ Durgnat, pp. 85-87
  16. ^ My Life and My Films, pp. 124-127
  17. ^ Durgnat, pp. 108-131
  18. ^ Bazin, Andre. Jean Renoir, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973, pp. 56-66
  19. ^ Durgnat, pp. 172-184
  20. ^ Durgnat, p. 185.
  21. ^ Gilliatt, Penelope. Jean Renoir: Essays, Conversations, Reviews, New York: McGraw Hill Book Company, 1975, p. 59
  22. ^ Renoir, Jean. An Interview: Jean Renoir, Copenhagen: Green Integer Books, 1998, p. 67
  23. ^ Volk, Carol. Renoir on Renoir: Interviews, Essays and Remarks, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989, p. 236
  24. ^ Durgnat, pp. 189-190
  25. ^ Bergan, Ronald (1997). Jean Renoir, Projections of Paradise. The Overlook Press. p. 205.
  26. ^ a b Durgnant, 191
  27. ^ Faulkner, Christopher, Jean Renoir, a guide to references and resources, Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall & Company, 1979, p. 34
  28. ^ Gilliatt, p. 60
  29. ^ BFI Archived May 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ ""Take One: The First Annual Village Voice Film Critics' Poll"". Archived from the original on August 26, 2007. Retrieved .. The Village Voice. 1999. Last accessed: 7 June 2009.
  31. ^ a b c Durgnat, p. 213.
  32. ^ David Thompson and Lorraine LoBianco (ed.) Jean Renoir: Letters, London: Faber & Faber, 1994, p. 61
  33. ^ a b My Life and My Films, pp. 175-176
  34. ^ Jean Renoir: Letters, pp. 62-65.
  35. ^ Thompson and LoBianco, p. 65
  36. ^ Durgnat, p. 213
  37. ^ My Life and My Films, p. 177
  38. ^ Jean Renoir: Letters, pp. 61, 64
  39. ^ Durgnat, p. 222.
  40. ^ Thompson and LoBianco, p. 87
  41. ^ Volk, pp. 10-30
  42. ^ Durgnat, pp. 234-236.
  43. ^ Thompson and LoBianco, p. 183
  44. ^ Durgnat, p. 244
  45. ^ Bazin, p. 103
  46. ^ "Session Timeout - Academy Awards® Database - AMPAS". Awardsdatabase.oscars.org. 2010-01-29. Retrieved .[permanent dead link]
  47. ^ Thompson and LoBianco, pp. 165-169.
  48. ^ Durgnat, p. 252.
  49. ^ Durgnat, p. 261.
  50. ^ Durgnat, p. 259.
  51. ^ Volk, p. 24.
  52. ^ My Life and My Films, p. 247
  53. ^ Thompson and LoBianco, pp. 207, 270
  54. ^ Durgnat, pp. 273-274
  55. ^ Durgnat, pp. 273, 275-276
  56. ^ Durgnat, p. 284
  57. ^ Durgnat, p. 400
  58. ^ Faulkner, pp. 33-34
  59. ^ My Life and My Films, pp. 274-275
  60. ^ Renoir, Jean. Ecrits 1926-1971, Paris: Pierre Belfond, 1974, pp. 286-289
  61. ^ My Life and My Films, p. 277
  62. ^ Ecrits 1926-1971, pp. 292-294
  63. ^ Bazin, p. 300-301
  64. ^ Durgnat, pp. 357-367.
  65. ^ Bazin, pp. 301-4
  66. ^ Durgnat, pp. 368-372
  67. ^ Durgnat, p. 373
  68. ^ Faulkner, pp. 37-38
  69. ^ Thompson and LoBianco, p. 455, 463
  70. ^ Bazin, p. 306
  71. ^ My Life and My Films, pp. 277-278.
  72. ^ Rohmer, Eric. "Notes sur Le Petit théâtre de Jean Renoir", in Cinema 79 No. 244, April 1979, pp. 20-24
  73. ^ Thompson and LoBianco, pp. 509-553
  74. ^ a b Faulkner, p. 40
  75. ^ My Life and My Films, p. 282
  76. ^ Faulkner, pp. 40-41
  77. ^ a b An Interview: Jean Renoir, p. 18
  78. ^ Montgomery, Paul (14 February 1979). "Jean Renoir, Director of 'Grand Illusion' Film, Dies" – via NYTimes.com.
  79. ^ Thompson and LoBianco, p. 555
  80. ^ Welles, Orson. The Orson Welles Web Resource, 1979. Last accessed: January 4, 2008.
  81. ^ "Encounter With Jean Renoir". satyajitray.org. Retrieved 2013.
  82. ^ "The Human Comedies of Eric Rohmer". Archived from the original on 2013-06-21. Retrieved 2013.
  83. ^ Jean Renoir: interviews. Retrieved 2013.
  84. ^ Landscapes of Resistance: The German Films of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub. Retrieved 2013.
  85. ^ "Peter Bogdanovich Talks Roger Corman, Other Influences". yahoo.com. Retrieved 2013.
  86. ^ "Truffaut's Last Interview". newyorker.com. Retrieved 2013.
  87. ^ "Robert Altman talks to Michael Billington". guardian.co.uk. London. 2 February 2006. Retrieved 2013.
  88. ^ "The Tawdry Gruesomeness of Reality, Errol Morrs". Retrieved 2013.
  89. ^ "11 Great French Films Recommended by Martin Scorsese". Taste of Cinema - Movie Reviews and Classic Movie Lists. Retrieved .
  90. ^ The Films of Mike Leigh. Retrieved 2013.
  91. ^ "Jean Renoir - Hollywood Walk of Fame". www.walkoffame.com. Retrieved 2018.
  92. ^ My Life and My Films, page 230.
  93. ^ Klingenstein, Susanne (December 1998). Enlarging America: The Cultural Work of Jewish Literary Scholars, 1930-1990. p. 296. ISBN 9780815605409.
  94. ^ Faulkner, p. 16.
  95. ^ Faulkner, page 34.
  96. ^ Faulkner, page 36.
  97. ^ a b Faulkner, page 37.
  98. ^ Faulkner, page 39.
  99. ^ "Session Timeout - Academy Awards® Database - AMPAS". Awardsdatabase.oscars.org. 2010-01-29. Archived from the original on 2012-07-07. Retrieved .
  100. ^ "Film Critics Honor Bergman's Scenes From a Marriage". Los Angeles Times. January 10, 1975.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Jean_Renoir
 



 



 
Music Scenes