By Suzanne Ruta
Updated September 30, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

Jean Renoir: Projections of Paradise Ronald Bergan (Overlook Press, $23.95) He was raised in a household of doting women-nurses, housekeepers, and models who posed for his father, Impressionist painter Auguste Renoir. Jean (1894-1979) brought his father’s 19th-century optimism and genius for light, atmosphere, and piquant detail to a 20th-century medium-film. How he managed to stamp each work with his gentle view of humankind is the subject of this bio full of amusing gossip from the sets of La Grande Illusion, The Rules of the Game, and dozens of others. His genial anarchy frightened the Hollywood studios RKO and ”Fifteenth Century-Fox.” His disciples-Visconti, Aldrich, Truffaut, Satyajit Ray-worshiped him. This loving portrait makes it easy to see why. B+SR