Jean Renoir’s ‘My Life and My Films’

While I was reading Jean Renoir’s My Life and My Films I kept my notebook close by because there is so much beauty, wisdom and wit in Jean Renoir’s words that I often had to stop to write something down. His disarming way of sharing his life, inside and outside the film world is so charming that you don’t want the book to end. His creativity, his passion for his profession, for real filmmaking, for what’s natural, for expressing the common humanity in his characters can not leave you indifferent, whether you are a film lover or not or whether you’ve seen his movies or not. Something else that stays with me is his talent in making you part of his world, in letting you in on the secrets behind the scene and making it all seem so attainable… I think it’s because filmmaking was like a second nature to him. I can not recommend this book highly enough.

“Progress has robbed us of the sometimes clumsy hallmark of the craftsman who made a particular door. In the old days when I went through that doorway I would have a word to say to that craftsman […] Machine-work dulls men’s minds, whereas handicraft ennobles them. A craftsman’s products enrich life. Everything made by hand is like a message from its maker, it contains life.”

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