Jean Renoir William S. Pechter - Essay

William S. Pechter

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The notion that Renoir's films are somehow formally lax has sprung in part from their structural looseness, a looseness, one should add, that now seems an inseparable part of their self-renewing freshness and modernity…. As early as in Boudu Saved from Drowning one is aware of the sustained development of a style in which the classical criteria of visual composition within a frame are abandoned in an attempt to open up the frame to depth of field and to peripheral fluidity—and a style in which the momentum of the films derives not from a pulse created in the editing but from the realization of those possibilities for expressive movement to be found in the imaginative transformation into movement of their...

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