Eric Rohmer – Ma nuit chez Maud AKA My Night at Maud’s (1969)


The “my” in My Night At Maud’s belongs to the protagonist played by Jean-Louis Trintignant, a Catholic engineer whose struggle with his faith is renewed when he falls instantly in love with a woman he’s never met (Marie-Christine Barrault) while attending mass. A chance meeting with an amoral old friend (Antoine Vitez) the same night places him in a potentially compromising situation when he’s forced to spend the night with Vitez’s alluring acquaintance Maude (Françoise Fabian), a sophisticated woman who challenges Trintignant’s belief through intellectual and fleshly means. Continue reading

Eric Rohmer – La collectionneuse aka The Collector[+Extra] (1967)


A bombastic, womanizing art dealer and his painter friend go to a seventeenth-century villa on the Riviera for a relaxing summer getaway. But their idyll is disturbed by the presence of the bohemian Haydée, accused of being a “collector” of men. Rohmer’s first color film, La collectionneuse pushes the Moral Tales into new, darker realms. Yet it is also a grand showcase for the clever and delectably ironic battle-of-the-sexes repartee (in a witty script written by Rohmer and the three main actors) and luscious, effortless Néstor Almendros photography that would define the remainder of the series. Continue reading

Eric Rohmer – Le rayon vert (1986)


From Notebook Reviews:

Crystallizing various facets of his Comédies et Proverbes cycle while radically departing from others, the diaristic 1986 beauty Le rayon vert is one of Éric Rohmer’s greatest studies of light, voices, and mercurial human sensation. Delphine (Marie Rivière) has the look of a doleful sylph and the torturous task of searching for enjoyment after plans for her summer holiday are abruptly cancelled. Cherbourg, the Alps, and Biarritz are some of the spots the Parisian secretary passes through, but she’s no innate adventurer: She literally runs away from potential suitors and gets woozy easily (no meat, no sailing, no swings), friends compare her to a plant and to the Capricorn goat alone on the mountain, “sort of in transit” is her own description. The protagonist’s comic sidekick in anybody else’s film, here she’s an achingly demanding woman as determined to have love on her own terms as Dreyer’s Gertrud. Continue reading

Eric Rohmer – Le signe du lion AKA The Sign of Leo (1959)


Le Signe du lion (The Sign of Leo) is a 1959 French film directed by Éric Rohmer, his feature debut. Along with Le Beau Serge, directed by Claude Chabrol (who produced The Sign of Leo), it was one of the first films of the French New Wave. The title refers to the Zodiac sign Leo, under which the protagonist says he was born. Much of the film’s plot is concerned with notions of luck and fate. The film was not a commercial success and Rohmer didn’t make another feature for 8 years, instead concentrating on short films and his position at the influential film magazine Cahiers du cinéma. Continue reading

Eric Rohmer – Les rendez-vous de Paris (1995)


Les Rendez-vous de Paris [Rendez-vous in Paris] is a 1995 portmanteau French film directed by Éric Rohmer.

Three loosely connected variations on the theme of the lover’s rendezvous in Paris. The three episodes are titled “Le Rendez-vous de 7 heures” (The Rendezvous of 7 hours), in which a student discovers her boyfriend is two-timing her, “Les Bancs de Paris” (The Benches of Paris), in which an unnamed woman has a series of meetings in parks with a handsome literature teacher from the suburbs, and “Mere et enfant 1907” (Mother and Child 1907), which takes its title from a Picasso painting, and centres on an artist who is attracted by a stranger. The three stories of the film are linked by a girl singing in the streets to an accordion accompaniment – a homage to René Clair’s Sous les toits de Paris.
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