La Règle du Jeu, dir. Jean Renoir

The Rules of the Game (1939)

A precursor to The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, My Man Godfrey and Gosford Park, Renoir’s generous and attentive eye captured a slice of the haut bourgeois life immediately preceding World War II. This compelling (and I might even say, addictive) film was a critical and box-office flop when it premiered, but has since influenced…

The Little House (Chiisai Ouchi), dir. Yoji Yamada

MVFF37: Chiisai Ouchi (The Little House)

The tension between personal memory and public history is quietly observed in the prolific Yoji Yamada’s Chiisai Ouchi, based on Kyoko Nakajima’s award-winning novel. When young Takeshi encourages his elderly great-aunt Taki to write her autobiography, he doesn’t believe she is writing the “truth” about her life as a young maid in a bourgeois Tokyo…