The Lower Depths (1936 film)
The Lower Depths is a 1936 French drama film directed by Jean Renoir, based on the play of the same title by Maxim Gorky. Its scenes contrast the life of lower classes to comedic effect; the film is an example of the poetic realism. It received the first Louis Delluc Prize in 1937; the National Board of Review in the United States considered it a Top Ten Foreign Film for 1937. A wealthy baron becomes bankrupt through gambling. Contemplating suicide, he confronts the thief Pépel who plans to rob him. Instead they share "a drink between colleagues" in a scene played as light comedy and become friends; the baron allows Pépel to leave with a bronze sculpture. Creditors seize the baron's household furnishings; the Baron tells his servant Félix that he hopes all that Félix has stolen from him will cover his unpaid wages, to which Félix agrees. Pépel is arrested for stealing the bronze. Pépel jokes with the police until the baron arrives to identify him as a "dear friend"; the story shifts to life in the slums.
They mock a woman who reads romantic tales, many individuals have brief character portraits. The baron arrives to become a lodger in the slums and Pépel sets him up with a bed; the baron joins the card game. The police inspector eyes his wife Vassilissa. Pépel speaks with Vassilissa, remembering their good times, she wants him to kill her husband, the landlord, old and mean. A scene of mourning for a woman who has died follows, with fatalistic comments from the neighbors. Pépel tells Natasha she should leave with him, but she says she'll leave for a man with a job, not a thief like him. Vassilissa is jealous; the woman who reads romances recounts them to the baron and Natasha as if they were her own adventures. The police inspector tells the landlord. Trying to devise a way to bribe him, the landlord and his wife suggest her sister Natasha. Vassilissa persuades Natasha to serve the inspector tea, though Natasha has declared he disgusts her; the inspector invites Natasha on a date and she cries. Pépel and the baron discuss life along the river bank.
Pépel believes only leaving with Natasha could save him from going to prison one day like his father before him. The inspector and Natasha dine alone, she resists his advances. Those partying outside include Pépel, pursued by Vassilissa, she tells him Natasha. Pépel find Natasha drunkenly enjoying the inspector's company; the men fight and Pépel leads Natasha away. Pépel and Natasha confess their love. Kostylev and Vassilissa insist Natasha make up with the inspector, they beat her and the whole neighborhood listens. Pépel intervenes and soon all the lodgers join him in attacking their hated landlord; the fight ends with Kostylev dead. Vassilissa denounces Pépel to the police as a murderer; the baron tells them it was a everyone is guilty. Others say how they participated and that "the lower depths killed him"; the police lead him away. In an epilogue, Vassilissa leaves the slum, Natasha brings Pépel home from prison, the slum's strangest resident, a combination madman and drunkard called "the actor", commits suicide.
Natasha and Pépel take to the road with just a few possessions. Jean Gabin as Wasska Pépel Suzy Prim as Vassilissa Kostyleva Louis Jouvet as The Baron Jany Holt as Nastia Vladimir Sokoloff as Kostylev Robert Le Vigan as The Alcoholic Actor Camille Bert as The Count René Génin as Louka Paul Temps as Satine Robert Ozanne as Jabot de Travers Henri Saint-Isle as Kletsch Junie Astor as Natascha Maurice Baquet as Alouchka The Lower Depths Cinema of France List of French language films The Lower Depths on IMDb Jean Renoir’s The Lower Depths an essay by Alexander Sesonske at the Criterion Collection
Edward and Caroline
Edward and Caroline is a 1951 French comedy film directed by Jacques Becker, starring Daniel Gélin and Anne Vernon. It was entered into the 1951 Cannes Film Festival; the film's sets were designed by the art director Jacques Colombier. It was shot at the Billancourt Studios in Paris. Édouard and Caroline are preparing for a family evening during which Édouard will be expected to play the piano. Lacking a dinner jacket Édouard goes to borrow one from his wife's cousin. In the meantime Caroline attempts to re-model her dress to bring it more up-to-date, her husband is not pleased and the evening consists of rows and threats of divorce. It is the early morning before life returns to normal. Daniel Gélin as Edouard Mortier Anne Vernon as Caroline Mortier Elina Labourdette as Florence Borch de Martelie Jacques François as Alain Beauchamp Betty Stockfeld as Lucy Barville Jean Galland as Claude Beauchamp Jean Marsac as a guest William Tubbs as Spencer Borch Jean Toulout as Herbert Barville Yette Lucas as Mme Leroy, la concierge Jean Riveyre as Julien, le valet de chambre Hélène Duc as L'invitée mélomane Micheline Rolla as a guest Edmond Ardisson as Le coiffeur Grégoire Gromoff as Igor Edward and Caroline on IMDb
Montparnasse 19 is a 1958 French-Italian drama film based on but not chronicling the last years of the life of the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani, who worked and died in abject poverty in the Montparnasse area of Paris. Some of his most famous paintings done were of his last two lovers, Beatrice Hastings and Jeanne Hébuterne. Leading a bohemian existence In Paris is the artist Modigliani, known as Modi. Spending much of his time drinking and sleeping with the attractive writer Beatrice, he does some drawing and painting but sells nothing, he meets a beautiful young art student called Jeanne, locked up by her family to keep her away from him. His friends the Zborowskis do their best to keep him afloat, but his fragile health, weakened by constant alcohol and tobacco, gives out and he is sent to Nice to recuperate. Jeanne joins him there, after which the two are inseparable. Returning to Paris, the Zborowskis arrange a one-man show in the prestigious gallery of Madame Weill, where everybody turns up for free drinks at the opening but nobody buys.
After complaints, the police order the removal of a nude from the window. A cynical dealer called Morel explains that Modi is sure to die soon and, when people will pay for his works; the Zborowskis find an American millionnaire, genuinely interested in some of Modi's canvasses but when he says he would use the blue eyes of Jeanne to advertise his products, Modi walks out in disgust. Despondent at his inability to combine the quest for beauty in his paintings of Beatrice and Jeanne with any commercial reality, with his health feeble, he goes round cafés trying without success to sell his drawings. Collapsing in the street, he is taken to hospital. Without telling her what has happened, Morel rushes round to a delighted Jeanne to buy up all unsold works for immediate cash. Gérard Philipe as Amedeo Modigliani Lilli Palmer as Beatrice Hastings Lea Padovani as Rosalie Lino Ventura as Morel Gérard Séty as Léopold Zborowski Arlette Poirier as Lulu Anouk Aimée as Jeanne Hébuterne Lila Kedrova as Anna Zborowska Marianne Oswald as Berthe Weill Stéphane Audran as a girl The film was directed by Max Ophüls, but he died of rheumatic heart disease while shooting interiors on the film, so his name was credited as the dedicatee and his friend Jacques Becker took over to complete the picture.
There are at least two versions of the film. Montparnasse 19 on IMDb
Jean Becker (director)
Jean Becker is a French film director and actor. He is son of the director Jacques Becker. Jean Becker on IMDb
Jean Renoir was a French film director, actor and author. As a film director and actor, he made more than forty films from the silent era to the end of the 1960s, his films La Grande Illusion and The Rules of the Game are cited by critics as among the greatest films made. He was ranked by the BFI's Sight & Sound poll of critics in 2002 as the fourth greatest director of all time. Among numerous honors accrued during his lifetime, he received a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award in 1975 for his contribution to the motion picture industry. Renoir was the son of the painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, he was one of the first filmmakers to be known as an auteur. Renoir was born in the Montmartre district of France, he was Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the renowned painter. His elder brother was Pierre Renoir, a French stage and film actor, his younger brother Claude Renoir had a brief minor career in the film industry assisting on a few of Jean's films. Renoir was the uncle of Claude Renoir, the son of Pierre, a cinematographer who worked with Jean Renoir on several of his films.
Renoir was raised by Gabrielle Renard, his nanny and his mother's cousin, with whom he developed a strong bond. Shortly before his birth, she had come to live with the Renoir family, she introduced the young boy to the Guignol puppet shows in Montmartre, which influenced his film career. He wrote in his 1974 memoirs My Life and My Films, "She taught me to see the face behind the mask and the fraud behind the flourishes, she taught me to detest the cliché." Gabrielle was fascinated by the new motion-picture invention, when Renoir was only a few years old she took him to see his first film. As a child, Renoir moved to the south of France with his family, he and the rest of the Renoir family were the subjects of many of his father's paintings. His father's financial success ensured that the young Renoir was educated at fashionable boarding schools, from which, as he wrote, he ran away. At the outbreak of World War I, Renoir was serving in the French cavalry. After receiving a bullet in his leg, he served as a reconnaissance pilot.
His leg injury left him with a permanent limp, but allowed him to discover the cinema, since he recuperated by watching films with his leg elevated, including the works of Charlie Chaplin, D. W. Griffith and others. After the war, Renoir followed his father's suggestion and tried his hand at making ceramics, but he soon set that aside to make films, he was inspired by Erich von Stroheim's work. In 1924, Renoir directed Une Vie Sans Joie or Catherine, the first of his nine silent films, most of which starred his first wife, Catherine Hessling, she was his father's last model. At this stage, his films did not produce a return. Renoir sold paintings inherited from his father to finance them. During the 1930s Renoir enjoyed great success as a filmmaker. In 1931 he directed his first sound films, On La Chienne; the following year he made Boudu Saved From Drowning, a farcical sendup of the pretensions of a middle-class bookseller and his family, who meet with comic, disastrous, results when they attempt to reform a vagrant played by Michel Simon.
By the middle of the decade, Renoir was associated with the Popular Front. Several of his films, such as The Crime of Monsieur Lange, Life Belongs to Us and La Marseillaise, reflect the movement's politics. In 1937 he made what became one of his best-known films, La Grande Illusion, starring Erich von Stroheim and Jean Gabin. A film on the theme of brotherhood, relating a series of escape attempts by French POWs during World War I, it was enormously successful, it was banned in Germany, in Italy, after having won the "Best Artistic Ensemble" award at the Venice Film Festival. It was the first foreign language film to receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Picture, he followed it with The Human Beast, a film noir tragedy based on the novel by Émile Zola and starring Simone Simon and Jean Gabin. This film was a cinematic success. In 1939, able to co-finance his own films, Renoir made The Rules of the Game, a satire on contemporary French society with an ensemble cast. Renoir played the character Octave.
The film was his greatest commercial failure, met with derision by Parisian audiences at its premiere. He extensively without success. A few weeks after the outbreak of World War II, the film was banned by the government. Renoir was a known pacifist and supporter of the French Communist Party, which made him suspect in the tense weeks before the war began; the ban was lifted in 1940, but after the fall of France that June, it was banned again. Subsequently, the original negative of the film was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid, it was not until the 1950s that French film enthusiasts Jean Gaborit and Jacques Durand, with Renoir's cooperation, reconstructed a near-complete print of the film. Since screenings and reappraisals since the 1960s, The Rules of the Game has appeared near the top of critics' polls of the best films made. A week after the disastrous premiere of The Rules of the Game in July 1939, Renoir went to Rome with Karl Koch and Dido Freire, subsequently his second wife, to work on the script for a film version of Tosca.
At the age of 45, he became a lieutenant in the French Army Film Service. He was sent back to Italy, to teach film at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rom