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The hunt scene and Poetic Realism

by Kate Fortmueller

The Rules of the Game is an example of French Poetic Realism. This movement stressed the importance of creating artistic films with a conscience. Poetic Realist films often utilize long-takes and deep focus in their photography and these films often feature doomed or anti-heroes in an oppressive environment. Given the importance of topical political subject matter in poetic realist films, it should not be surprising that The Rules of the Game was reviled at its time of release because it was seen as too political. In this sequence the servants are flushing out the animals for the rich people. The rich people can just aim and shoot. What is Renoir saying about war and the role of the aristocracy in war?

The Rules of the Game (1939) - The Hunt

The Rules of the Game weaves together multiple love triangles over the course of one weekend. This long-take of the hunt offers a critique of the role of the aristocracy in war times.

from The Rules of the Game (1939)
Creator: Jean Renoir
Distributor: The Criterion Collection
Posted by Kate Fortmueller
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