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Jean Renoir, the Boss, Part 1: The Search for Relativity
(Jean Renoir le patron: La recherche du relatif)

Directed by Jacques Rivette.
France, 1967, digital video, color and b&w, 94 min.
French with English subtitles.

Cineastes of Our Time was a series of documentary portraits of filmmakers that aired on French television for most of the 1960s, and periodically thereafter. (The HFA screened the Busby Berkeley episode as part of his retrospective earlier this year.) The assignment to document Renoir was given to no less than Jacques Rivette, then still best known as a film critic. As usual, director Rivette worked on a large canvas, and his portrait was divided into three films. The first part, “The Search for Relativity,” traces Renoir’s career from the beginning to La Bête humaine, with some flash-forwards to Picnic on the Grass.

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The Complete Jean Renoir

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