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Elena et les hommes 1956
iMDB Rating: 6.4
Date Released : 31 December 1956
Genre : Comedy, Drama, Romance
Stars : Ingrid Bergman, Jean Marais, Mel Ferrer, Jean Richard
Movie Quality : BRrip
Format : MKV
Size : 930 MB
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Polish countess Elena falls in love to a Frensh radical party's candidate, a general, in pre world war I Paris, but another officer pines for her.
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Everyone has Their Plans...
Renoir introduces Elena as a "fantasy musical". The opening scene is in an artist's studio while a piano is practiced on. There is a superior use of depth of field but Bergman is the focal point (Renoir was quite smitten with her as evidenced by their years of personal communication). There are shades of Nana however that may have marred positive response to the film upon release. Bergman's character is not imbued with a clear motivation that brings everything around her into focus. It is simply her external self that is to be that which is focused upon. Well, that wasn't good enough in 1926 and nothing much had changed thirty years later. Is Bergman's Elena a symbol or a mere good luck charm? Hard to tell at first viewing. Again multiple cuts replace the long take and tableau construction of mise-en-scene replaces mobile framing. Elena is certainly not in the realm of 'realism' attributed to Regle. Point in case is when an old military jacket is commented as being tattered yet is clearly immaculate and freshly dry-cleaned at the other end of the studio minutes before. The immaculate mise-en-scene of the color "trilogy" is a psychologically-based construction and operates as a reflective process for the spectator to find pleasure in an unblemished vision. In effect, Renoir has shifted from letting a story tell itself through his direction to directing how the story is projected. "Everyone has their plans" replaces the old Renoir credo of "everyone has their reasons" and the distinction fits nicely with my own thesis about Renoir's two stylistic systems. In Carrefour, the camera investigates through the lattice work of a door window creating a layered space whereas in Elena an idle courter bangs in futility at a door with similar lattice but no great depth of field. For Faulkner, it is a conflict of private and public spheres at play where the woman's power is effected through performance. It seems unlikely that this theory plays out cleanly given Renoir's consistency with empowering female characters through a variety of means. The film has more significance and less entertainment value the more you know and understand of Renoir's oeuvre.