The Rules of the Game

Admission UCB Students: 50 cents
Others: Regular Viewing Member ticket prices

Renoir described this brilliant tragicomedy as “a sort of reconstructed documentary on the condition of a society at a given moment” - the moment being 1939, with a disastrous phase of French history in the offing. The Rules of the Game is a satirical study of a way of life that stifles all opportunity for love and friendship. A November house party at the chateau of Marquis Robert de La Chesnaye (Marcel Dalio) provides the ideal setting. All spirit and enterprise have departed from the gentry at the gathering. They are as petrified as the Chinese statues that line the vast rooms, as mechanical in their decorum as the musical boxes the baron loves so dearly. Andre, the intrepid pilot, is the acknowledged outsider. He does not behave like the hero society expects him to be; he disregards the rules of the game, and his dispute with the Marquis for the love of Christine becomes a clumsy fracas, a significant substitute for the duel of prouder times. The distressing finale of the film is also ironic because Octave (Jean Renoir) finds that his honorable sacrifice rebounds on him with a vengeance.
While he remains an individualist, Renoir always returns to the essential need for companionship among men. His heroes and heroines, from the enraged gamekeeper to the sophisticated Genevieve, harbor the same emotions at heart.

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