Not that its greatness is so easy to read for a lot of filmgoers today. The Rules of the Game is the very embodiment of an "invisible" directorial style and its greatness lies in part in its supremely light touch. Renoir (whose Grand Illusion is perhaps his best-known work) is justly remembered for this style, a technique in which the director never, ever intrudes and in which the audience is trusted to observe the proceedings and draw conclusions for itself. To say that this technique has vanished from Hollywood filmmaking today is to be pointlessly coy; it could be that modern audiences would be as scandalized by the absence of flashbacks, temporal shuffling, freeze-frames, and Steadicams as those in '39 were by the absence of redeeming moralizing.
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Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.