Jean Renoir, The River (still), 1951; image: courtesy Janus Films

Film

The River

Part of Modern Cinema: Criterion Collection and Apichatpong Weerasethakul

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Director Jean Renoir’s entrancing first color feature—shot entirely on location in India, and selected by Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul for inclusion in the inaugural program of Modern Cinema—is a visual tour de force. Based on the novel by Rumer Godden, the film eloquently contrasts the growing pains of three young women with the immutability of the Bengal river around which their daily lives unfold. Enriched by Renoir’s subtle understanding and appreciation for India and its people, The River gracefully explores the fragile connections between transitory emotions and everlasting creation.

“This was Jean Renoir’s first picture after his American period, his first in color, and he used Rumer Godden’s autobiographical novel to create a film that is, really, about life, a film without a real story that is all about the rhythm of existence, the cycles of birth and death and regeneration, and the transitory beauty of the world.” —Martin Scorsese, Criterion.com


Film Details

Country: France
Language: English
Year: 1951
Running time: 99 min
Director: Jean Renoir
Producers: Kenneth McEldowney, Jean Renoir
Writers: Jean Renoir, Rumer Godden
Cinematographer: Claude Renoir
Editor: George Gale
Music: M.A. Partha Sarathy
With: Nora Swinburne, Esmond Knight, Arthur Shields, Suprova Mukerjee, Thomas E. Breen, Patricia Walters, Radha
Print Source: Janus Films

Restored by the Academy Film Archive in cooperation with the British Film Institute and Janus Films. Restoration funding provided by the Film Foundation and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.


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