Finally released in 1946, ten years after it was shot, Jean Renoir's Partie de campagne was hailed as an 'unfinished masterpiece'. Since then, his masterly adaptation on a Maupassant story has grown in reputation to the point where it has become Renoir's best-loved film. On an idyllic country picnic, a young girl leaves her family and fiancé for a while, and succumbs to an all-too-brief romance. Shot on location on the banks of two small tributaries of the Seine, Renoir's sensuous tribute to the countryside - and to the river - has seldom been surpassed. In its bitter-sweet lyricism, its tenderness and poetic feel for nature, its tolerant satire of bourgeois conventions and its poignant sense of the transience of innocence and love, 'Partie De Campagne' seems to distil the essence of all that is most personal of Renoir's art.
Audio commentary by film historian and critic Philip Kemp (2003)
Un Tournage a la campagne (1994, 89 mins): a selection of the film's outtakes held at La Cinematheque frangaise, compiled by filmmaker Alain Fleischer as part of celebrations for the centenary of Jean Renoir's birth
Screen Tests (1936, 9 mins): a selection of screen tests shot in June 1936, assembled by Claudine Kaufmann
Jean Renoir Lecture (1963, 89 mins): an audio recording of a lecture and Q&A given by Jean Renoir at the BFI's National Film Theatre