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Partie de campagne

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

As I wrote in Senses of Cinema 55, “Jean Renoir is arguably the greatest artist that the cinema has ever known, simply because he was able to work effectively in virtually all genres without sacrificing his individuality or bowing to public or commercial conventions. Although he was the son of the famed Impressionist painter Auguste Renoir, his visual sensibility was entirely his own, and the technical facility that marks his films is the result of long and assiduous study.”

Jean Renoir’s gorgeous, if truncated film Partie de campagne (shot in 1936, but not completed, in featurette form, until 1946), once again offers proof that Renoir remains the supreme humanist of the cinema, with a deep understanding of the follies of human nature, coupled with a great sense of sympathy for his protagonists. Renoir remains someone I come back to again and again; he restores my faith in the redemptive power of cinema, something that’s often hard to imagine these days.

You can read the full essay here.

About the Author

Wheeler Winston Dixon

Wheeler Winston Dixon, Ryan Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is an internationally recognized scholar and writer of film history, theory and criticism. He is the author of thirty books and more than 100 articles on film, and appears regularly in national media outlets discussing film and culture trends. Frame by Frame is a collection of his thoughts on a number of those topics. All comments by Dixon on this blog are his own opinions.

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Wheeler Winston Dixon has been quoted by Fast Company, The New Yorker, The New York Times, the BBC, CNN, The Christian Science Monitor, US News and World Report, The Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, The PBS Newshour, USA Today and other national media outlets on digital cinema, film and related topics - see the UNL newsroom at for more details.

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