Sunday, July 16, 2023 1pm to 3pm
About this Event
5030 Brunson Dr, Coral Gables, FL 33146https://cosfordcinema.com/event/more-selections-from-the-sight-sound-list-the-rules-of-the-game-1939/
Conducted every 10 years, the Sight & Sound Best Movies of All Time poll is voted on by film critics, writers, professors and other experts in the field of cinema. A concurrent poll is open only to directors, and their results often vary wildly from the main poll. The Cosford Cinema will be showcasing ten selections from the filmmakers’ list every Sunday over the summer from June 4-August 13.
THE RULES OF THE GAME (1939) | DIRECTOR: Jean Renoir | WITH: Marcel Diago, Nora Gregor, Paulette Debost, Odette Talazac | RUNNING TIME: 1H 50M | In French with English subtitles | 4K DCP PROJECTION
Considered one of the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game is a scathing critique of corrupt French society cloaked in a comedy of manners in which a weekend at a marquis’s country château lays bare some ugly truths about a group of haut-bourgeois acquaintances.
The film, which ranked 39th on the directors' poll, has had a tumultuous history: it was subjected to cuts after the violent response of the audience at its 1939 premiere, and the original negative was destroyed during World War II; it wasn’t reconstructed until 1959. That version, which has stunned viewers for decades, is presented here.
"By February 1939, it no longer seemed evident that the surrender of Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler at Munich had “saved the peace.” A sense of doom was beginning to hang over Europe. In this atmosphere, Jean Renoir, anticipating war and deeply troubled by the mood he felt around him, thought he might best interpret that state of mind by creating a story in the spirit of French comic theater, from Marivaux to Musset, a tradition in which the force that sets every character in motion is love and the characters have no other occupation to interfere with this pursuit.
"The result was The Rules of the Game, a dazzling accomplishment, original in form and style, a comic tragedy, absurd and profound, graced by two of the most brilliant scenes ever created. It is also, in the words of Dudley Andrew, “the most complex social criticism ever enacted on the screen.” A total box-office failure in 1939, The Rules of the Game now ranks as one of the greatest masterpieces of world cinema.
"Though the world of the film seems at times one of sheer chaos, The Rules of the Game, seen whole, is lucid and as precisely constructed as the marquis’ mechanical instruments. Unfortunately, few Parisians in 1939 ever saw it whole. Later in his life, Renoir could laugh as he pronounced The Rules of the Game “a magnificent flop, perfect, complete,” for by then his “frivolous drama” was hailed as a masterwork.
"But in 1939, he was not amused. At the premiere, the Paris audience howled and whistled and threw things at the screen. In a week, ten minutes had been cut from the film, but audiences still hooted.
"In a few more weeks, the exclusive opening run had ended; this most ambitious production of the year had quickly become a commercial disaster. Renoir was so discouraged he thought he must either give up cinema or leave France. He did move to Hollywood a year later to avoid working under the Nazi occupation, abandoning the film to its fate.
"Booed, banned, nearly destroyed, The Rules of the Game was reconstructed in 1959, with the approval of Renoir, to a length of 106 minutes. This screening affords viewers a privilege available to almost no one when the film was new: that of seeing The Rules of the Game as Jean Renoir intended it." -- Alexander Sesonske
Tickets are $5 and available at link above. UM students use UMSTUDENT for discount (Cane Card must be shown at the door).