Monday, January 11, 2010
Eric Rohmer 1920 - 2010
Man, I love Eric Rohmer films. His style is unmistakable. Talky but not preachy, humorous but not reaching for laughs, dramatic but not overly so. He presents people as relatively close to regular people with thoughts about relationships, ethical and moral behavior verbalized. In some ways he was the least celebrated of the French New Wave directors and yet his style is among the most unique and recognizable of any French filmmaker other than Jean Luc Godard.
Sixteen of his films fit neatly into three categories over five decades.
Six Moral Tales [60's and 70's] in which men almost leave the women they love for another but then come back.
Comedies and Proverbs [80's] in which [younger] women characters come of age and men are there to witness and talk with them about it.
Tales of the Four Seasons [90's] - Characters find their inner peace.
In between and after these series of films Rohmer often made films that had nothing much in common stylistically with his films including some that were unique historical narratives, such as Perceval, The Lady and The Duke and [his final film] Romance of Astrea and Celadon.
My favorites are:
My Night At Mauds
The Green Ray [aka Summer]
Full Moon in Paris
A Tale of Autumn.
But, really, I like all of his films to some degree or another. I have always savored each one of his films slowly because I didn't want to run our of new ones to watch. But, alas, there will be no more new ones to add to the list. However, there are a few I still have yet to see. Plus, it is a pleasure to go back and see the older films too.
The Auteurs has many links to articles on Rohmer and his films.