René Clair Lotte H. Eisner - Essay

Lotte H. Eisner

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Once more in Les Grandes Manoeuvres] Clair exploits his extraordinary gift for suggesting subtle comical traits with a skillful virtuosity that, by means of image itself, brings humorous innuendos to the surface—effects that were somewhat neglected in his previous sound films. Again he juggles with purely visual understatements, with ellipses derived from sheer optical transition, with fine contrasts, counterpoints born out of terse and rhythmical editing. Subsidiary characters are not relegated to the ranks of shadowy extras; minute touches reveal them directly. His work is thereby instilled with life and movement. Les Grandes Manoeuvres is a film of glances that pierce the facade of a materially...

(The entire section is 433 words.)