One of the very first prison escape movies, Grand Illusion is hailed as one of the greatest films ever made. Jean Renoir’s antiwar masterpiece stars Jean Gabin and Pierre Fresnay, as French soldiers held in a World War I German prison camp, and Erich von Stroheim as the unforgettable Captain von Rauffenstein. —The Criterion Collection
The son of the painter Auguste Renoir, Jean Renoir became one of France’s most important and respected filmmakers during the middle of the 20th century. A Philosophy and Math student, Renoir became a cavalryman, but was invalided out of the army before World War I. Later, he married a model and aspiring actress, and, following the death of his father and the acquisition of an inheritance, set up his own production company to produce movies for his wife. Renoir learned from these early experiences of financing movies and watching other films, and became a director in 1924. With the advent of sound, Renoir’s career was quickly made with a series of profitable films, including La Chienne (1931), a savage and dark drama about a man’s self-destruction, which was later remade by Fritz Lang as Scarlet Street. Renoir’s subsequent films, including The Lower Depths (1936) and Grand Illusion (1937), were among the finest made in France before the war, and were well acknowledged at the time of… read more
À Jean Renoir em A GRANDE ILUSÃO interessam principalmente as relações cordiais estabelecidas entre inimigos durante a Primeira Guerra Mundial, conflito tido por ele quase como uma guerra de cavalheiros. Ao apontar para as incontornáveis semelhanças entre povos separados por fronteiras e diferenças artificiais, o diretor acabou realizando um dos filmes mais belos e humanistas da história do cinema | Wallace Guedes
CC#1: L’original - a laudable first edition. Containing caustic establishment undertones, yet coupled with such a romantic, egalitarian view of honour amongst soldiers, as the fraternal lingua franca (the pairing of Gabin, et al with von Stroheim but the start) - but of course, not entirely without tension; therein lies the rub. Nonetheless: The Benevolent Great Escape - sound montage.
A look at some of the best original French posters for the films in Film Forum’s current series: The French Old Wave.
The festival opens with the world premiere of a new restoration of Cabaret.
Also: Posters for this year’s Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week, “Great Directors” in San Francisco, Picasso in London and more.
Also: New issues of Offscreen and Networking Knowledge.
"Revived for a week at Film Forum in an excellent restored print, The Prowler (1951) may be the creepiest of classic noirs," writes J Hoberman
Some days just don't bundle well. Like today. No overriding theme, hot button issue or newly released title leaps out. Everyone does seem
Doyen of the poetic realism movement Jean Renoir once wrote ’It’s not by being realistic that one has the best chance at capturing reality’, ergo La Grande Illusion is not a very ‘realistic’ war film… read review
Grand Illusion is a war film that focuses very little on war. Instead it focuses on those who have been brought together by war and how cultural and class differences affect their interactions. From… read review
Considered one of the first films to deal with the whole prison escape theme, The Grand Illusion is an anti-war film directed by renowned French director, Jean Renoir. Two French soldiers are shot… read review