A Winter’s Tale is the second installment in French director Eric Rohmer’s Tale of Four Seasons series. Rohmer’s intention with these films is to “focus on attractive, intelligent, self-absorbed if not entirely self-aware young women who present their dilemmas with clarity and elegance and express their feelings in inspired and witty dialogue.”
Plot: Felicie and Charles have a serious if whirlwind holiday romance. Due to a mix-up on addresses they lose contact, and five years later at Christmas-time Felicie is living with her mother in a cold Paris with a daughter as a reminder of that long-ago summer. For male companionship she oscillates between hairdresser Maxence and the intellectual Loic, but seems unable to commit to either as the memory of Charles and what might have been hangs over everything.
One of those unsentimental films to which people become sentimentally attached.
Plot: The widowed Magali may be charismatic and intelligent but her friends fear that by isolating herself she will never find a new love. Therefore, two of them secretly attempt to set her up with an eligible bachelor, but as no one is aware of the various machinations they appear doomed to end in ignominious calamity.
Vincent Canby @ The New York Times, August 27, 1982 wrote:
Like the major characters in most of Eric Rohmer’s comedies, Sabine (Béatrice Romand), the heroine of Mr. Rohmer’s new Le Beau Mariage, seems almost ordinary at first. She is pretty in a fresh but unspectacular way, articulate, and seemingly well adjusted to a kind of enlightened middle-class existence.
Part of the week Sabine works in an antique shop in Le Mans, where she lives with her younger sister and widowed mother, and the rest of the week she is in Paris, where she is studying—half-heartedly—for a degree in art history and carrying on a casual affair with a married painter named Simon. Continue reading
From Toronto International Film Festival website :
Truck driving is all sixty-year-old widower Germain (Julien Poulin) has ever known. When he is involved in a head-on collision that leaves a woman dead, his quiet life is suddenly thrown into a tailspin. Though he was not at fault, the remorse he experiences is debilitating, leaving him severely depressed and unwilling to get behind the wheel again.
Deeply concerned for his father, Germain’s son Samuel (Patrice Dubois) puts his job in Montreal on hold, travels to New Brunswick to collect his estranged older brother Alain (Stéphane Breton), and together they drive to their rural Quebec hometown to care for their stricken father. The brothers, however, have their own issues: reliable Samuel is still lovelorn decades after a teenage breakup, while Alain, an inveterate raconteur and incurable womanizer, drifts aimlessly from town to town, incapable of settling down.
As the men struggle to reconnect, it becomes apparent that all three are stuck in the past for different reasons, unable to move forward. Slowly, the brothers revive Germain’s will to live, and in the process discover fresh directions for their own lives. Continue reading
Boy and Bicycle is the first film made by Ridley Scott. The black and white short was made on 16mm film while Scott was a photography student at the Royal College of Art in London in 1962.
Although a very early work – Scott would not direct his first feature for another 15 years – the film is significant in that it features a number of visual elements that would be become motiffs of Scotts work. The film features the cooling towers of the Imperial Chemical Industries works at Billingham, foreshadowing images in Alien, Blade Runner and Black Rain. The central element of the Boy and the Bicycle is re-used in Scott’s advert for Hovis of the early 1970s. The film features Scott’s younger brother Tony Scott as the boy.
Scott secured finance from the British Film Institute to complete the editing and sound in 1965 including a track by John Barry called “Onward Christian Spacemen” which originally appeared as the “b” side of the theme to the television series “The Human Jungle” .
Scott wanted to use the existing recording by Barry, but the composer was so impressed by the young film maker he agreed to produce a new recording for the film at limited cost. Continue reading
“The film is a melodrama in the high Sirk style (Leander is a cabaret singer in 1840s London who takes the rap when her lover passes a bad check and gets deported to the penal compound that was then Australia), but with a great deal of music, performed by Leander in the wrenchingly emotional style that has made her as much of an icon to German gays as Garland is to the US community.” Continue reading
Veteran French New Wave director Eric Rohmer’s Perceval is a unique film faithfully based on the 12th-century Arthurian poem by Chrétien de Troyes. It combines medieval music, bright colors, mime, stylized acting and theatrical sets that reflect a wonderful feel for the period. This elegant adventure film is shot entirely in the studio. Rohmer highlights Perceval (Fabrice Luchini) as a young innocent who uses this to his advantage to gain the confidence of his enemies. The naïve Perceval’s odyssey is depicted as a moral investigation, but is shot with a deft touch exhibiting great humor, wit and style… It’s more involving than either Bresson’s Lancelot du Lac or Syberberg’s Parifal. Continue reading