French filmmaker Jean Renoir is often called the cinema's "greatest humanist," whatever that means. In practice, Renoir's films are full of liars and fools, users and lovers, self-important idealists and sardonic conformists. All of them act criminally silly at one point or another, some to death's door and past. They believe in love, in aristocracy and equality, in peace, justice, and/or the appearance of same: They hurt each other with the ferocity--and casualness--of tigers. They are products of their context--shaped by language and culture and desire. They are also acknowledged puppets of the director's will, lucky(?) in that he grants them so much rope and forgives them for what... More >>>