In 1934, Jean Renoir stepped off the soundstage and headed to the South of France where he captured vivid human drama amidst the bucolic splendor and everyday social rituals of the Provence countryside. Set in a community of immigrants living, working, and loving on the margins of French society, Toni follows the eponymous Italian migrant (Charles Blavette) whose tempestuous affairs with two women—the faithful Marie (Jenny Hélia) and the flirtatious Josefa (Celia Montalván)—unleashes a wave of tragedy. Making pioneering use of nonprofessional actors and on-location shooting, Renoir crafts a marvel of poetic feeling that pointed the way towards both the Italian neorealist movement (indeed future auteur Luchino Visconti served as the film’s assistant director) and the French New Wave.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
Four charming comedies from Eric Rohmer.
“No one sees anything. Ever. They watch, but they don’t understand.” So observes Connie Nielsen in Olivier Assayas’s hallucinatory, globe-spanning Demonlover, a postmodern neonoir thriller and media critique in which nothing—not even the film itself—is what it appears to be.
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