Sam Rohdie
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in Film modernism
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Like Rivette, Renoir is a director of scenes, rather than of continuity. His films appear to be a mix of scenes rather than a combination of shots and each scene is relatively independent of the other not in the sense that there is no link (thematic or narrative) between scenes, but rather that there is no evident linear accord between them. It is for these reasons that Renoir’s films (and Rivette’s) are often described as ‘theatrical’ which is not to suggest that they are either primarily concerned with dialogue or that gestures and attitudes are exaggerated and false, on the contrary, what marks the theatricality of Renoir’s films (and Rivette’s) is the naturalness of their scenes and especially of the performances of the actors.

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