Possibly Renoir’s coldest, harshest film centers on a merchant who, while walking home one night, encounters a woman being beaten by her boyfriend. He intervenes, sets her up in a small apartment and proceeds to fall in love with her. But as their three lives become more and more intertwined, a noirish decay sets in, given an almost uncanny edge by the detached distance Renoir maintains from his protagonists. (As Bazin put it, “Difficult to define, the style seems to be the simultaneous expression of the greatest fantasy and the greatest realism.”) With his framing and remarkable depth of field, the naturalist inside Renoir has found a means to suggest that human will is inevitably prey to the whims and caprices of fate.
Directed by Jean Renoir.
With Michel Simon, Janie Marése, Georges Flamant.
France, 1931, 35mm, black & white, 96 min.
French with English subtitles.
$9 - Regular Admission
$7 - Non-Harvard Students, Harvard Faculty and Staff, and Senior Citizens
Regular HFA screenings are free for all Harvard students with a valid photo ID. Discounts apply for Harvard Film Archive Members
Tickets are available 45 minutes before show time at the cinematheque on the lower level of the Carpenter Center. Cash or check only. No late seating.