Jean Renoir was born in Paris on september 15, 1894 and died in Paris on February 12, 1979. From his father Auguste Renoir the well known impressionist painter, Jean has inherited the natural sense of equilibrium and harmony of images. In Auguste's work images are still. Jean will make them move.
Jean Renoir has directed many films in his long career, like Boudu sauvé des eaux, La grande illusion, La bête humaine, French Cancan, but it's really La règle du jeu (the rules of the game) that is today considered as his masterpiece. Jean Renoir has certainly given Jean Gabin and Michel Simon their most beautiful roles.
Disliked by the public and the critics when it was released in autumn 1939, ”La règle du jeu” is subject of a hate campaign. Several scenes were cut out, the film was shortly removed from the theatres and Renoir was accused, during the war, to betray the moral of the French people. Some months later, Pétain's government will forbid the film.
Today, sixty years later, The Rules of the Game is universally considered as an absolute masterpiece of cinema's history. Together with Orson Welles's ”Citizen Kane”, directed one year after ”The rules of the game”, the influence of these films on generations of directors has always been huge. According to François Truffaut, these are certainly the two films that have created the most vocations of directors.
Emir Kusturica has often quoted La règle du Jeu as one of his favourite. Beyond a classic “vaudeville”, we can see some scenes of an incredible maestria, with complex camera movements and in which the action simultaneously happens both in the foreground and the background. The hunt scene, crucial for the narrative evolution, was “honoured” by Emir Kusturica in Life is a miracle.