Film Micrœview #213: The River (1951)

07.16.2015 § Leave a comment

Rating: Good.

Jean Renoir is a saint and a genius. He manages to tell a simple story about adolescence, while tapping into issues of gender roles, race, and colonialism (the rich white men are shown to be doofuses). The three main protagonist young women use the same man as their canvas for their own dreams in their own ways; in the end his own writings, though hotly anticipated, flutter away at the chime of the birth of the new (female) child (replacing the single dead young boy). The mother’s words about a woman’s role in life being to produce children for her husband is inverted here: the women can create whatever they want. Whether the man can be objectified (considered “beautiful”) is under debate.

The photography is amazingly beautiful. The music during the imaginary dance sequence was badass. Always amusing how early films shot off sound-stage acknowledge it aloud early in the film.


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