By a customer
, 17 Sep 2004
This short film is, in fact, just a part of a movie that Jean Renoir didn't finish. It shows the central part of the project. In the nineteen century, it shows a city family on a vacation on the countryside. A young peasant fell in love with the girl of the family, who was to marry an old man. This is a very beautiful movie, with poetry, charm and wonderful natural settings. At the end of the movie, we saw the original finale when the young woman, now marry to the old man, came back to the countryside where she once find true love. Simplicity at it's peak.
A 40 minute fragment of an unfinished movie which Truffaut describes as a cinematic short story, about a picnic in the country.
Renoir movies are always idyllic visually - like beautiful cinematic paintings, but Partie de Campagne is particularly idyllic. For some reason Renoir really wanted us to feel that we were in the country. This is his most visceral movie: he really takes you into the landscape in a way he does not usually do. Usually we merely sit back and admire it - here we are shown some gorgeous images of rain on the stream from the view of a boat on the water. The bottom half of the frame is virtually in the water we're so close to the action.
My favourite parts of Renoir movies are when he goes out on location (which he did quite a bit) and shoots wonderful scenes in nature. Here we have forty minutes of pure natural beauty (with a group of characters added for colour). I'm not sure that if Renoir continued with this project it would have retained enough interest over a two hour length - most likely its merely the central episode of a movie. Like Kubrick, Renoir made his movies up from several big, beautiful chunks. This applies most to Grand Illusion, so perhaps this sequence would never have been intended to supply enough dramatic interest for an entire story, but for lovers of Renoir, here are some of the most beautiful things he ever filmed. If you've never seen a Renoir film, the first experience is always the best, and it might be spoiling you if you start with this one, but it would be a beautiful introduction to him.
I'm quite surprised at the uniform comments so far to this film. It is an interesting film I admit, and many film-scientists have analyzed and praised it, BUT: Isn't the 'peak' of this story a rape scene? The daughter obviously plays an innocent virgin and being on a swing or in a boat is all she wants. Her mother on the other hand is quite 'deprived' for her allusive request to her heavy husband to quickly go together behind the barn, gets turned 'down'. But here we have 2 other bored youngsters: One is a show-off Casanova, the other (as it turns out later) only seemingly disinterested in the game of love. This game is exemplified through the (male) sport of fishing. Now the climax is very skillfully displayed through the water and the upcoming storm metaphor, but the foreplay is quite politically incorrect: Numerous 'touch-and-kiss-attacks' from the part of the guy and the numerous 'shoving-aways' by the girl doesn't seem to stop him or take 'No' for an answer. Eventually of course, she gives in, and many years later she tells him that it was and ever will be the happiest moment of her life. It smells like macho fantasy to me, where No from a girl means Yes! and that especially virgins need to be forced into the introduction of sexual pleasures. Well, possible, but still, what if not?
Unfinished,this is a one of Renoir's most remarkable work.As far as Guy DE Maupassant is concerned,only Max OPhuls's 'le plaisir'(1951) and Christian-Jaque's 'Boule de Suif' (1950)equal it.
This is apparently a very simple story:a couple of bourgeois (Jane Marken and Gabriello) ,their daughter (Sylvia Bataille) and her less-than-handsome husband leave for a day in the country (title).There the young girl meets love ,short-lived happiness.
Beneath the placid surface,tragedy emerges.The beautiful landscape,the simmering water,the whispering grass,the swings which seem to reach for a pure sky,the small fish you savor in the guinguettes down by the river,the thrill of it all!The young girl's longing for true love is harder to endure in such a peaceful paradise.This is one of these rare movies in which you experiment happiness tinged with an infinite sadness.
A whole sequence is missing:a card explains the events which were not filmed.Sylvia Bataille's last line(to the man she fell in love with) will make you cry out:'I've been thinking of it every day'.Woman has always been sacrificed in Maupassant's work.At a running time of 40 minutes,a lot of people claim it for Renoir's best though.I do.Claude Renoir marvelously conveys Maupassant's depictions with his pictures.
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