Tuesday, 28 May 2013

MAY 28, 2013

107 TONI (1934) Directed by Jean Renoir ****

I honestly thought I'd seen this back in the 60's but could remember little about it. Turns out I had not seen it which was a nice surprise as a Renoir film that is new to me is always welcome as he is one of the greatest of all directors in my estimation.  TONI is generally regarded as his first great film and a precursor of the Italian neo-realist movement. Toni is an Italian immigrant worker who comes to work in the south of France and begins an affair with his landlady. He becomes obsessed with a Spanish neighbour and this eventually leads to tragedy for everybody. The film is unflinching in its depiction of the day to day lives of the immigrants although this is never over emphasised and is in the detail - the food, poor quality clothes and even the camaraderie of strangers in a strange land. The film, technically, has rough edges (Renoir himself considered it a primitive work) and despite the restoration still has rough edges. It's power is undeniable.


1 comment:

James wellyousaythat said...

I thought for a moment that Renoir had made a Bond Movie (guffaw)