“A warm and intelligent biography . . . that successfully and lovingly evokes the world of one of the cinema’s true giants” (Kirkus Reviews).
Hailed by Orson Welles as “the greatest of all directors,” Jean Renoir had a career that spanned five decades, and more than forty films—from silent melodrama to farce; film noir to musical comedy; and his scathing satires and tragedies informed by the Front Populaire. He has influenced generations of international filmmakers including Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, Satyajit Ray, Luchino Visconti, and Mike Leigh. He’s been praised by André Bazin and François Truffaut as the patron saint of the French New Wave. Now, the genius behind such masterpieces as The Grand Illusion, The Rules of the Game, and The River is the subject of “the ideal Renoir biography—easy, graceful and unpretentious, as it . . . tell[s] us about Renoir’s long, rich life and career” (The Los Angeles Times).
In this authoritative portrait written with the full cooperation of Renoir’s son, Bergan draws from exclusive interviews and the director’s personal archives to illuminate his remarkable life and invaluable contribution to cinema. From his childhood as the son of great Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir to his escape from Nazi-occupied France to a flourishing career in the French film industry and to his turbulent and trying years in Hollywood, Bergan delivers an “impressive critical biography . . . Revealing . . . compassionate [and] poetic” (Publishers Weekly).