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317 Ratings

La chienne

Directed by Jean Renoir
France, 1931


Cashier Maurice Legrand is married to Adele, a terror. By chance, he meets Lucienne, “Lulu”, and make her his mistress.

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La chienne Directed by Jean Renoir
As the film progresses Maurice reveals depths of insecurity beyond even Dédé, a man who slaps Lulu around out of boredom. But the wonder of the film is that it never sits in judgment; even the most heinous actions occur due to the convergence of personality and circumstance, and Renoir’s camera keeps its distance, peeking through curtains or café windows. This framing is remote, almost aloof.
May 09, 2017
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Sternberg’s Der Blaue Engel and Hitchcock’s Blackmail are visible in the framework, McCarey has the sloshed homecoming in Ruggles of Red Gap, Pabst dissolves are prevalent. Simon in rags for the ferocious epilogue prepares Boudu, along with the ineffable line between degradation and freedom: Life’s a bitch and life’s beautiful, and art for Renoir must be more than one thing at once.
January 16, 2017
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With “La Chienne,” Renoir invented a new sort of plein-air cinema, pioneering a fluid naturalism predicated on his ability to shoot sound on location without sacrificing the freedom to move his camera… The Film is at once less harsh and more devastating than Fritz Lang’s noirish Hollywood remake “Scarlet Street” (1945). In his juxtaposition of art and life, Renoir contrives an ending, bitter yet affirmative, that combines irony, pathos and self-reflection in one transcendent image.
July 08, 2016
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