A critical rhetorical analysis of Jean Renoir's "The Rules of the Game" (1939) and James Ivory's "The Remains of the Day" (1993)

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Description: This thesis compares the sociopolitical discourses of Merchant Ivory's eponymous film adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's 1989 novel The Remains of the Day, released in 1993, to French filmmaker Jean Renoir's 1939 film The Rules of the Game. Both are Marxist films in the sense that they delve into how class distinctions between the aristocracy/bourgeoisie and working classes create sexual repression amongst the characters. However, Remains seduces the viewer with the "circumambience" so typical of Merchant Ivory heritage films and ultimately fails in its political critique where Rules succeeds. My methodology and theoretical foundation is rooted in late Marxism and Rhetorical Theory, which unpack the social, historical, and material conditions of these films by examining the political economy of their production as well as the historical moment of their reception. I show how Remains de-politicizes its original text and the social world it depicts in both film style and narrative form.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work