Tuesday, May 29, 2007

May 29th Log

1953, Jean Renoir, France / Italy
Repeat Viewing, DVD

The Golden Coach is the first of what is now viewed as a trilogy from the great French filmmaker Jean Renoir (along with 1954s French Cancan, and 1956s Elena and Her Men). Above all the three films are connected in the way they relate the theater with life. Of course they are also connected in the nature of the style, the humanist characterizations, and the performances, all of which make them distinctly the work of Renoir. Here in his late period, Renoir uses rich and simplistic undertones of emotional and artistic mastery. The Golden Coach is absolutely effortless in its celebration of the theater, yet through Renoir’s color compositions, camera work, and the way he directs his actors, The Golden Coach emerges as a film that blends the beauty of theater and cinema. The film is essentially built around the performance of the great Italian actress Anna Magnani, and she absolutely shines. Renoir’s camera is passionately captivated with her as she completely embodies the central core of the film and in the end it is her and theater. The Golden Coach is a remarkable achievement of filmmaking that I would rate among Jean Renoir’s very best!


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