This is the perfect occasion to enjoy feature films which have marked history in international cinema, with the chance to experience the movies in their original format, projected in 35mm. Copies sent from film libraries across the globe, including restored film, to bring back to life and provide homage, at 40 years from his death, to one of the masters of contemporary cinema. Jean Renoir and the Masters of Poetic Realism has come to its final week of showings at Palazzo delle Esposizioni, coming to an end on Sunday March 17th at 9pm with La Grand Illusion. The film was first shown in 1937, and is one of the best examples of anti-militarism, a show of trust in human comradeship outside of class divisions, political standings, and nationality.
Having started in February, the exhibition has shown some the best and most beloved feature films by the French director, from silent movies to the masterpieces of the 1930s ending with the American exile and return to his homeland. Prelude to great movements such as Italian Neorealism and the French Nouvelle Vague, his work creates an accurate portrayal of the artistic and cultural aspects which characterized post World War II France. A period which saw authors such as Carnè and Duvivier, alongside Renoir, bringing to life in cinematic form the fascinating world of French poetic realism.
As written by Goffredo Fofi, cinema academic and critic, “Renoir adapts himself, he camouflages. He hopes and despairs, laughs and cries, he mixes himself into the life of his characters with curiosity and affection, always maintaining the necessary distance”. The works of the great impressionist artists second-born have one constant commonality: the individual, as centre of the world, as an object and a subject to investigate, observe, and narrate.
La Grand Illusionis an anthem, a timeless hope, as viable decades ago as it is today. Renoir filmed it as a pacifist and for him “a real pacifist is an authentic Frenchman, an American, or German. The day will come where men of good will can find common ground”.
Jean Renoir and the Masters of Poetic Realism, until the 17th of March at Palazzo delle Esposizioni, via Nazionale 194, Rome. For information please visit the website.
La Grand Illusion, Sunday March 17that 9pm, Palazzo delle Esposizioni. Info here.