The Rules of the Game (La Règle du Jeu)
Dir : Jean Renoir
Scrs : Jean Renoir ,Carl Koch
Phos : Jacques Lemare, Jean-Paul Alphen and Alain Renoir
Eds : Marguerite Renoir , Marthe Huguet
Prod Company : Nouvelles Éditions de Films
Cast: Nora Gregor, Marcel Dalio, Roland Toutain,
1939 / France / B&W / 35mm / French /
Chi & Eng Subtitles / 106min
It’s no overstatement to call The Rules of the Game by that often inflated label – a masterpiece. Jean Renoir’s film about a group of Parisian aristocrats spending a seemingly idyllic weekend in a country estate is widely lauded as one of the greatest films ever made, often ending up at or near the top of critics’ polls.
The Rules of the Game is also one of those fabled works of art that was ruthlessly denounced when it first appeared, only to receive its deserved recognition years later. The film considered by many as an ultimate humanist work so offended sensibilities of a France on the verge of war it was booed by audiences, derided by critics and banned by the government. It enjoyed a resucitation in reputation after the war, applauded first in France and eventually internationally.
After its disastrous release, Renoir was forced to re-edit the film. The complete version was presumed lost forever after original negatives were destroyed by Allied bombings, until two devoted French cineastes managed to find much of the missing film in 1959 and, working with Renoir, meticulously reconstituted the film to its original length but for only less than a minute.
The film was digitally restored by Criterion for DVD release in 2004, based on a fine-grain master (a high-quality second generation print) of the 1959 version. More restoration was performed on the digital master in 2006, creating a 35mm print considered drastically better than any existing copies of the film.
This screening of The Rules of the Game is the world premiere of the restored print outside the U. S.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
* Post-screening talk with Sam Ho
The contents of the programme do not represent the views of the presenter.
The presenter reserves the right to change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.