Renoir, Jean. "La Regle du jeu--1939." My Life and My Films. Trans. Norman Denny. N.p.: Da Capo, 1991. Rpt. in Jean Renoir's The Rules of the Game. N.p.: n.p., n.d.
In this excerpt from his book, Renoir describes the process in which he planned the creation of La Règle du jeu. Baroque music, especially the works of Coupenn, Rameau, Lulli and Grétry, served as the platform for Renoir’s focus on the haute bourgeoisie. A focus on Lestringuez’s “amorous intrigues” inspired the filmmaker to focus on the frivolity of love as a thematic motif in the film. Hearkening back to his early childhood, Renoir recounted images of Sologne—the fog, the countryside, and the hunting season—all clearly portrayed in the film. Renoir also describes the influence of Les Caprices de Marianne, which he had originally considered creating a modern remake of; a fragment of its themes would be seen in the tragic climax of La Règle du jeu.
This excerpt of Renoir’s book is particularly interesting and relevant to my thesis because of its description of the filmmaker’s philosophy and his own awareness of what influences him. He describes the role of Nora Grégor, who played Christine de La Chesnaye, and her husband, as the two faced increasing troubles with the rise of Hitler in their homeland of Austria. Renoir described his approach to film by saying, “One starts with the environment to arrive at the self.” Essentially, he takes from what is around him to come upon what he is to create; he wrote the part of Christine for Nora Grégor. This philosophy is the same of Renoir’s father. Jean Renoir claims La Règle du jeu is a war film, though there is not a blatant ounce of war in the film. Instead, the film was a result of the impending World War II. Renoir intended to offer a pleasant film for audiences to forget their worries; however, La Règle du jeu emphasized the dismantling of French society, testament to Renoir’s inability to isolate himself from the politics of the time, and further evidence in support of my argument.