Framing open space-time in the films of Jean Renoir: society, ideology, technology

Nevin, Barry
In the films of Jean Renoir (1894-1979), class strata clash in public and private spheres, alternately eroding and bolstering ideological values, and implementing traumatic social upheaval on a local, national, or even international scale. Despite frequent emphasis on Renoir’s pioneering exploitation of deep space and lateral camera mobility, and on the various evolutions in Renoir’s narrative style and political outlook, the diverse ways in which Renoir frames the dynamic relationship between social space and physical space at each stage of his career have received relatively little attention. The present study demonstrates the importance of integrating temporality into our analysis of the fluctuating, mutually affective relationship between physical and social space that structures Renoir’s volatile societies. Through a textual analysis of features directed by Renoir during the silent era, the 1930s, his wartime exile in Hollywood, and post-war career, this thesis demonstrates that Renoir’s mise-en-scène of space-time is the product of his photography of both urban and rural milieux, his political engagement with the French Left, and the distinctive techniques that Renoir exploited in innovative combinations across his rich and varied output.
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland