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A Courtyard of Love and Politics: Close-Up on Jean Renoir’s "The Crime of Monsieur Lange"

Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Jean Renoir's The Crime of Monsieur Lange (1936) is playing August 31 - September 30, 2017 in the United States as part of the series Jean Renoir.From the beginning, Jean Renoir embraced dualities. One wants to say he played with them, and that’s often true, but he also took them seriously. When these two things are happening at the same time, his work is imbued with a magic that still casts a spell, just as it did over French New Wave filmmakers of the 1960s who rightly took him as a father figure. A striking example of contrasting impulses, his first film on his own, La fille de l’eau (Whirlpool of Fate, 1925) is one of his open-air works—a heroine’s journey out in the world—but at its heart is a dream sequence and very theatrical. That set Renoir’s aesthetic course.

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