Late Renoir
in Jean Renoir
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This chapter deals with Jean Renoir's late films after his return to France in 1951, after an absence of more than ten years. The later films are more consistent in tone than the disparate body of work that had gone before. The later films generally see the world and its failings with mocking irony, preferring a dispassionate moral vision to a tragic or political one. The first three (Le Carosse d'or, French Cancan, Eléna et les hommes), are all historically set costume dramas and form a natural group. The next two (Le Testament du Docteur Cordelier, Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe) are contemporary fantasies and were shot in the same innovative way. Le Caporal épinglé moves away from cultural definitions of nation and back towards a more 'political' Frenchness, centred on the need to fight for freedom.

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