Silver, Charles. "Jean Renoir and Josef Von Sternberg: A Centennial Duo." MoMA.18 (1994): 24-7.
Silver compares and contrasts Jean Renoir and Josef Von Sternberg. As contemporaries in the film industry, the two filmmakers carry numerous similarities, and even some coincidences link the two. Both immigrated to the United States, residing in California, especially in response to Hitler’s growing power in Europe, and both also maintained similar close relationships with their actors. Silver even compares Renoir to Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, as they both chose actors they already knew as people; Renoir would cast his brother Pierre, or close friends like Jean Gabin. Even in terms of cinematic themes, Renoir and Sternberg both focused on the power and pervasiveness of water throughout their filmmaking careers. Yet, the two filmmakers also had a number of differences. Whereas Renoir maintained a more impromptu, almost sloppy style, Sternberg had a reputedly more perfectionist directing style, clearly dictating his cinematic vision to his actors.
Though Silver’s piece is more of a broad discussion of two filmmakers during the World War II era, he does mention artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s influence on his son Jean. Silver also discusses Jean Renoir’s “reverence for the past, both civilization’s and his own,” which incorporates not only the politics of the time, but also the literary and artistic movements, and technological advancements (i.e. sound film) that accompanied (26). Silver does not focus deeply on exactly what political events directly affected the making of La Règle du jeu, but does offer key insight to greater cultural influences on the filmmaker, which loosely supports the concept that the era’s politics and culture molded the film.