The middle episode of Jacques Rivette’s documentary portrait of Jean Renoir features a look back at the director’s pre-war career by way of his collaborations with actor Michel Simon. Clips from their films together are interspersed with footage of a long dinner conversation between the two. This episode did not air on French television with the other two in 1967, apparently because some ribald language used by either Simon or Renoir was feared to be possibly libelous.
The Direction of the Actor by Jean Renoir (La Direction d’acteur par Jean Renoir)
Directed by Gisèle Braunberger
France 1968, DCP, color, 22 min. In French with no English subtitles
The final part of Rivette’s epic TV documentary on Renoir analyzes his working methods and his visual style in depth, focusing on The Rules of the Game. In addition to conversations between the filmmakers and their subject, “The Rule and the Exception” utilizes clips and a reunion between Renoir and actor Marcel Dalio, who plays the central figure in Renoir’s celebrated film. DCP courtesy Les films du jeudi.