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Chienne, La

Director:  Jean Renoir
Year Released:  1931
Rating:  3.0

Typical love triangle affair ... only done with tenderness by one of the medium's great humanists: cashier-by-day, painter-by-night Legrand (Michel Simon), in an unhappy marriage and mocked by his co-workers, falls for a "lady of the night" ... but she truly loves her pimp. One aspect to this I was particularly drawn to was Renoir's view of the art world: Jean, of course, was the son of one of the great painters (Pierre Auguste Renoir) so he had intimate knowledge of how corrupt that particular world could be (the dealers could care less if the paintings are "authentic" and just happy to sell them using a fake female name). The ending, too, comes as a surprise, as the movie allows a killer and a con man to go free ... although they're both essentially destitute. One line from this is strangely reassuring in the current year (2017): characters keep asking, "What is this world coming to?" ... close to a century later, we still don't know.

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