My Introduction to a Series of Essays on The Rules of the Game

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“The awful thing about life is this: Everybody has their reasons.”—OctaveThe Rules of the Game

Perhaps no other line in La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game) acts as a fairer summation of the movie’s plots and themes as this one, spoken by Octave, the intervening old man in a complex game of youth, love, and social impetus.  It is only fitting, in a meta-filmic sort of way, that Octave is played by the film’s writer, producer, and director, the man that most would consider the greatest of all French auteurs: Jean Renoir.  It’s like the author’s own film commentary, nestled into the screenplay itself, cozily and conveniently. Continue reading

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L’Atalante (1934)

“What?  You closed your eyes?…Don’t you know you can see your beloved’s face in the water?…It’s true.  When I was little, I saw things like that.  And last year, I saw your face in the water.”

Could it be that simple, to just open your eyes?  Certainly not, but there is certainly something magically simple about love.  In all its frustrating complexity, it never deviates from the simple constant of feeling. Continue reading