The Thinking Machine 4: Wish I Had a River
Jean Renoir’s 40 minute masterpiece Partie de campagne (1936) is a poignantly uncompleted work (originally intended as a feature), and yet such a perfectly formed piece of crystal. After an ellipse that skips the part of the story never filmed – years in the lives of the characters Henri (Georges Darnoux), Henriette (Sylvia Bataille) and Anatole (Paul Temps) – we witness the brief re-encounter of the once-only lovers. This sad, passionate scene contains the entire movie – and also opens it out to a wider philosophical and cinematic mystery of connection and disconnection.
© Cristina Álvarez López & Adrian Martin, January 2017