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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


6. HUMANITIES, General language studies, Specific languages, Arts, Studies on Film


Beyond the year of their production, their notoriously foreboding references to contemporary national and international politics, and their shared status as canonised classics of French cinema, Marcel Carné’s Le Jour se lève (1939) and Jean Renoir’s La Règle du jeu (1939) both portray the romantic union of two parties within a greenhouse. This article aims to elaborate on these images in two central ways: first, it theorises glass in cinema with reference to the writings of André Bazin and Gilles Deleuze; second, it situates Carné and Renoir’s greenhouses within their respective dramatic, aesthetic and political contexts. In both cases, the narrative inscribes specific socio-economic associations and a related conceptualisation of temporality in the image of the greenhouse rather than merely reducing it to an inert, physically circumscribed space. Furthermore, whereas the mise en scène of Carné’s greenhouse concretises the dialectics of memory and recollection manifested through his film’s flashbacks, Renoir’s greenhouse provides a meta-filmic commentary on his own obsolete efforts to immerse himself in the foibles of the haute bourgeoisie and to liberate his country’s ruling class from its outmoded modus operandi.