Homage to Dirk Lauwaert: La règle du jeu

Homage to Dirk Lauwaert: La règle du jeu
With an introduction by Gerard-Jan Claes

Over the past year, Sabzian, in collaboration and with the support of LUCA School of Arts and LUCABreakout, has regularly published new English translations of texts about film by Dirk Lauwaert, the Belgian author who died ten years ago. To mark the end of this series, and to once again highlight Lauwaert’s entire oeuvre, two screenings will take place at Cinema RITCS: La règle du jeu (Jean Renoir, 1939) on December 12 and Il lavoro (Luchino Visconti, 1962) on December 13, two films to which Lauwaert dedicated fine texts.

About Renoir, Lauwaert wrote the text “The Relationship Is Everything – On Jean Renoir” in 1994, one of the first texts to appear in the new series of publications on Sabzian. In this essay, Lauwaert sketches Renoir’s fascination with the theatrical and the kinship of his films to light comedy, a legacy that, according to Lauwaert, goes back to his carefree and spirited youth at the Renoir home (Jean Renoir was the son of the impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir). Consequently, Lauwaert said, the work of Renoir fils is marked by a “lifelong childlikeness” and a way of seeing that is always seeking to be surprised. Renoir is a “documentarian of illusion, realist of light comedy” because, unlike other practitioners of light comedy such as Ernst Lubitsch or Frank Capra, he fills the formulas of the comic with “realistic” material. With Renoir, life, with the appearance of the human but also of landscapes or light, gives substance to the theatrical. This is also why Lauwaert doesn’t call Renoir’s work filmed theater but theatricalized film. La règle du jeu counts as a typical example in this sense; only here does Renoir choose to study the petty human and the unraveling of a social order. It’s not for nothing that Frieda Grafe called the film “the most powerful document of interwar society and its upheaval.”

12 Dec 2023 - 17 Jul 2024
Cinema RITCS, Brussels
PART OF Sabzian Events

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