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Partie De Campagne [1936] [DVD]

Sylvia Bataille , Jane Marken , Jean Renoir    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Partie De Campagne [1936] [DVD] + La Règle du jeu [1939] [DVD] + La Grande Illusion 75th Anniversary [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Sylvia Bataille, Jane Marken, Georges D'Arnoux, André Gabriello, Jacques B. Brunius
  • Directors: Jean Renoir
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Aug 2003
  • Run Time: 39 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AZVE2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,480 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A film by Jean Renoir

Finally released in 1946, ten years after it was shot, Jean Renoir's Partie de campagne was hailed as an unfinished masterpiece. Since then, his masterly adaptation of a Maupassant story has grown in reputation to the point where it has become Renoir's best-loved film.

On an idyllic country picnic, a young girl leaves her family and fiancé for a while, and succumbs to an all-too-brief romance. Shot on location on the banks of two small tributaries of the Seine, - and to the river has seldom been surpassed.

In a bitter-sweet lyricism, its tenderness and poetic feel for nature, its tolerant satire of bourgeois conventions and its poignant sense of the transience of innocence and love, Partie de champagne seems to distil the essence of all that is most personal to Renoir's art.

DVD extras include commentary by film historian Philip Kemp, a director's biography and extra material from the Cinémathèque Française (discarded takes and screen tests)

France | 1936 | black & white | French language with English subtitles | 39 minutes + 42 minutes extra material | Academy Ratio 1.33:1 | Region 2 DVD

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: French ( Mono ), English ( Subtitles ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Alternative Footage, Biographies, Black & White, Commentary, Interactive Menu, SYNOPSIS: Jean Renoir's A Day in the Country is a short and semisweet romantic vignette based on a story by Guy de Maupassant. A group of family members spend a day away from the city in the French countryside. While the men go off to fish, the mother (Jeanne Marken) has a harmless flirtation with a rural "rake," while the daughter (Sylvia Bataille) has a more serious liaison with a handsome young man (George Saint-Saens). Fourteen years later, the same family vacations at the same spot. The handsome stranger returns, hoping to renew his affair with the daughter; unfortunately, the girl is now married to a dull, insensitive jerk. The two former lovers ponder what might have been, then the family heads back to the city. A Day in the Country currently exists only in a 40-minute version; Renoir had planned to film scenes depicting what happened in the years between the two holidays, but he closed down production due to an acute "creative block." For its American distribution, Day in the Country was bundled together with two other short European films -- Joifroi and the controversial The Miracle -- as the portmanteau film The Ways of Love. ...A Day in the Country ( Partie de campagne )

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cinematic gem, an overpriced DVD 10 Mar 2011
What could be more idyllic than a day in the countryside? Cherry trees, boating, a lovely picnic, a ride on the swings, a beautiful innocent romantic from the city, two charming gentlemen...

In real-life, as opposed to much cinema, meaning isn't always signposted; it is often revealed in seemingly trivial, off-hand comments and brief gestures. So it is in Partie De Campagne. We are whirled effortlessly through a naturalistic world where everything is frothily jolly on the surface, but we find that we have been made aware of the more fraught world of the playing out of human motivations.

Henrietta does her best to maintain her romantic faith, but we who know of her lover's sexual pragmatism, who have looked up her skirt (or imagined we have), who have been voyeurs to her affair, know that reality will intrude. On the banks of the river, she may have been distracted from her own seduction, rapt by the nightingale's beautiful mating call, but we were paying due attention to the taciturn boatman's insistently physical advances.

This is Renoir expertly using visual shorthand to create a sense of lyrical natural beauty, and simultaneously layering it with a direct but subtle irony, all the while maintaining a jaunty pace. It adds up to forty minutes of meaningful, magical, and ultimately poignant cinema. Technically innovative but never frivolously so, Partie De Campagne is fresh and exciting even 75 years since it was made.

It's a push to say the film is finished, but it does work as a self-contained piece, although the narrative leap to the final scene is rather large. As good as the piece is, as a purchase a full price DVD for an unfinished forty minute film is too much.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A disservice to Renoir 27 Jan 2009
"Une Partie de Campagne" has been described as the greatest movie ever not finished, but Renoir's 1936 masterpiece feels "almost" finished. Drawing on a simple Maupassant story, it follows a Parisian family to the country for a picnic; during the afternoon, as the fat domineering father and the idiot son-in-law sleep off their lunch and then cack-handedly try their luck at fishing, the wife and daughter go off with two local lads on the make. The daughter is seduced; we're never sure of the wife. In a tailpiece, we see the local lad going back to the same spot, meeting the girl again with her scrofulous husband. Despite the casual nature of their encounter, neither of them has ever forgotten it, and both have always wondered what might have been.... The cut to this is abrupt, which is where the "unfinished" bit comes in, but it's also hard to see what more Renoir needed to say. There are various theories about this; one is that this was intended as part of a portmanteau movie of Maupassant stories, another is that bad weather stopped filming. The DVD extras do nothing to enlighten us.

Though on one level a very well scripted "slice of life", there is something magical about the movie, and when you get to the abrupt ending, it feels like being woken up in the middle of a dream. The opening explores the relationships between the members of the family, the attitudes of the country folk to the city folk, the naivety of the city folk about the country, the willingness of the country folk to exploit this. The camera is almost static, the emphasis on dialogue.

Then the women decide to go on the swings, and something extraordinary happens. They become delirious with happiness, and the camera does too, plunging and soaring, cutting to shots of the birds and the trees.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Mario
There's nothing wrong with short stories in the cinema. In fact it's refreshing to know that what you are watching is only about 40 minutes, especially if it's 40 minutes of pleasure and genius. Who decided that 90 minutes give or take half an hour was the allotted time? This is witty, tender, unsentimentally sad. A perfect film despite its so-called unfinished state. It's beautiful and Keats would've loved it.
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