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Renoir (2012)

In the French Riviera in the summer of 1915, Jean Renoir, son of the Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste, returns home to convalesce after being wounded in World War I. At his side is Andrée, a young woman who rejuvenates, enchants, and inspires both father and son.

Renoir (2012)

Keyhole Painter

In theory, this should be one of my dearest films. It concerns sensuous urge at the level of obsessive spirituality. A way of continually falling in love that is itself worth falling in love with.

It concerns painting and is intended to be presented in a painterly way. The setting is a fantasy for many men: being lovingly cared for by a coven of dedicated women so that you can indulge as an artist and be celebrated.

But most of all, it is structured as what I call a folding. It is a collection of images about making images. It is also a film about the making of a significant filmmaker.

These three things proceed simultaneously, driven by a single woman. The setup of the story is similar to the much superior ‘La belle noiseuse (long version)’ In that film, you can see the model‘s body be enriched by how it is seen. We see it being seen and how. The woman in that case is rather ordinary outside the story, but her side and the surrounding film weave seduction successfully. We get it, all the many mysteries evoked.

Not so here. We do understand what is being inferred, in part because characters speak about it. But we never enter the level where flesh dissolves into and dissolves our life. There is disappointment all around and it is too easy to blame the actress who is the focus. She never transcends. But this is less her fault than the filmmaker‘s. He simply doesn‘t give us watcher‘s souls to step into.

Posted in 2014

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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