I have too many things to do; in New York—my home town, thank the fates—the situation is self-perpetuating if, as so often occurs, your interest lies in the arts. Yesterday I allowed myself to fit in—in broad daylight!—not just one but two movies, being shown back to back in our town’s inexhaustible revival house Film Forum. Both were created by Jean Renoir (my second favorite, after Ozu), the guy who doesn’t kid himself about human nature yet is one of the most humane movie makers who ever lived. First up was La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game), the poignant absurdity of its characters’ behavior summed up in the line “The trouble is that everyone has his reasons.” Then Grand Illusion, a piercingly ironic film about war (laced with rather more sentiment than we tolerate today). It has the grace to stand ineluctably for freedom and the wisdom to leave the outcome ambiguous.
© 2012 Tobi Tobias