La Grande Illusion
La Grande Illusion French 41
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sarah Doberneck on Monday October 5, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to French 41 at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Dr. Chirila in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 64 views. For similar materials see French Cinema and Culture in French at University of California - Los Angeles.
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Date Created: 10/05/15
French 41 Lecture 1012015 What is the grand illusion The title allows people to interpret the lm as they see it Renoir says the lm isn39t about war but rather human relationships o It opens with happy music and conversation with French soldiers planning military strategy then switches suddenly to a German canteen that is very similar to the French one with minor changes such as music and d cor This shows that the differences between the French and the Germans were ultimately very little and super cial Renoir39s long scenes and depth staging allow the viewer to focus on various things 0 This makes his scenes endlessly rewatchable The escape techniques seen in the lm are used in many lms later Rope made out of sheets 0 Underground tunnel Hiding escape under oorboards During the scene where the French POWs are performing they learn France has over taken a key city and start all singing the French national anthem There is a similar scene in Casablanca In it the Nazis are all singing their country39s song when the hero of the movie has everyone start singing the French national anthem There are similarities and differences with these two scenes Both display French national pride but the rst is done out ofjoy and happiness for their country while the other can be seen as a competition for the Germans The Great War disrupted France s progress 0 The war left 7 of the population dead 50 of roads were destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people were unemployed Postwar French were very passive about issues and reconciliation with Germany seemed like a possibility The great depression occurring at this time as well led to increased support for communism The prison camps show the nationalism of the time period 0 Class society and race relations are all shown Lt Marechal and a German soldier are able to have a conversation and the German helps Marechal cut his meat Renoir tries to include speci c details to show that class and race don39t always matter For example Marechal and Elsa fall in love even though their countries hate each other Rosenthal is Jewish and wouldn39t be liked at the time No one states that he is Jewish but his name gives it away His family worked its way up to aristocracy and when he receives a big package of food from home he doesn39t hesitate to share with all other prisoners This goes against the stereotype that Jewish people are stingy and cheap It is clear that Marechal is working class because he knows more middle class songs and talks about how his grandparents have cows 0 There is also a theme about the absurdity of borders This is seen with how easily Rosenthal and Marechal are able to cross into Switzerland and aren39t shot at once they ve crossed the border As Marechal and Rosenthal get fed up with the journey they immediately revert to racist comments 0 Critics of the lm accuse Rosenthal of being portrayed negatively as a stereotypical Jew meaning he was arrogant rich and always complaining In the end however they use more endearing insults This shows how far the viewers and characters have grown and developed
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