By Christopher Faulkner

ISBN-10: 0691066736

ISBN-13: 9780691066738

Reinterpreting twelve of Renoir's best-known works, Professor Faulkner attributes their traits to not the director's unified sensibility yet to various social and historic circumstances.

Originally released in 1986.

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It is only by inad­ vertence, when Legrand is driven to murder, that they lead to change. On the personal level, Legrand kills Lulu because his feelings have been outraged. Stumbling upon the betrayal of his bourgeois dream triggers the excessive violence that completely uncensored frustration can produce. That the apartment, the physical space and representation of Legrand's ideologically de­ termined aspirations, should be the site of this violence is an irony not to be overlooked. Killing Lulu, therefore, must also be read as a revolt against his embourgeoisification—never mind 4 UAvant-Scene du Cinema, no.

23: iiLulu: Dis done, tu pourrais Ie finir, ton tableau! Legrand. Comment? " La Chienne/BouduIToni that the character Legrand cannot verbalize this—otherwise the appended epilogue, in which we meet Legrand after the passage of some years, having dropped out of his class to the level of the anarchic, propertyless clochard, seems unaccountable. " Legrand's al­ ienation is now complete. He is left empty-handed and emptyheaded, declasse, a tramp. By the final scene of the film Legrand appears to have no recollection of his former life.

To the contrary, a little laughter at one's own expense is a healthy thing. This attitude signifies a liberalism of which Lestingois himself would doubtless approve. Roland Barthes has described "the inoculation" as one of the rhetorical forms of bourgeois myth: I have already given examples of this very general figure, which consists in admitting the accidental evil of a classbound institution the better to conceal its principal evil. One immunizes the contents of the collective imagination by means of a small inoculation of acknowledged evil; one thus protects it against the risk of a generalized subversion.

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The Social Cinema of Jean Renoir by Christopher Faulkner


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