Tag Archives: La Grande Illusion

The Back Page, April 27 2012

Yeah yeah, it was Tuesday, but Barbra Streisand turned 70 this week and today's best birthday is Jack Klugman. Who is super cool, but doesn't do good photos. So here's Babs, in a photo I simply couldn't not use.

Trailer-wise, well, there’s this, I guess. I don’t go for these pretentious arthouse flicks, but etc etc joke’s been done, man.

I’m not going to lie – that trailer could’ve made the concept of a bunch of superheroes kicking almighty amounts of ass more exciting. At times it’s a bit like ‘And then, oh, I dunno, Robert Downey Jnr turns up’, which is not really that amazing, unless you’re really into RDJ. I guess there is an emphasis on the Whedonian talky-talkiness, which is BALLS in a trailer. Start with a joke or a sententious bit of scene-setting, blow things up,  have buh-boom, buh-boom fade ins and outs, end it on a line whispered over silence, url, done.

I’ve been doing a fair bit of arguing on the internet recently, and this is an invaluable guide to logical fallacies. Win every time! In your head.

OR! You could read a MostlyFilm post you may have missed this week:

La Grande Illusion – Renoir’s overlooked masterpiece, out on Blu Ray this week.

Making Music – a nostalgic ramble across the sacred turf of the romantic mixtape.

Mostly Records – a roundup of the best and not so best albums of the year so far.

Il Boom – Vittorio De Sica’s film about debt in times of economic prosperity.

Join us next week for: an actual opinion on Avengers! Pop pop pop musik! More Monoglot Movie Madness! THE STATHE!

La Grande Illusion

By Indy Datta

La Grande Illusion – which tells the story of a motley band of French POWs in captivity and on the run during the First World War – was Jean Renoir’s first major commercial success. In the early years of his career (after a short-lived flirtation with the idea of becoming a ceramicist) he had partially financed the string of loss-making silent films he made by selling paintings left to him by his father, the impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Although the advent of cinema sound had suited Renoir’s film-making almost from the start, with successes such as La Chienne and Boudu Sauvé des Eaux, La Grande Illusion – with its more expansive scope and scale and its cast of movie stars, including French man of the moment Jean Gabin – was a hit of a different order, and the first non English-language film to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture. Its success (along with the success of his next film, an adaptation of Zola’s La Bête Humaine) gave Renoir the kind of status as a film maker that couples freedom to money. He used that capital to make La Règle du Jeu, a scandalous failure that, the legend has it, drove Renoir out of the French film industry and into the arms of Hollywood. Continue reading La Grande Illusion