Tuesday, September 22, 2009

the hit or miss films of Eric Rohmer

eric rohmer is one of the last living directors of the french new wave and alongside claude chabrol and jacques rivette, represent the last link to the golden age of cinema in france. rohmer, like chabrol and rivette have had incredibly prolific careers that have consisted of some masterpieces and some uninteresting stuff.

in terms of rohmer specifically, one of my movie 09 goals was to watch more rohmer. i watched every film in his comedies and proverbs trilogy where i will quickly summarize:

Comédies et Proverbes (Comedies and Proverbs):
1981 La Femme de l'aviateur (The Aviator's Wife) — good, flirty, idealistic, and at times humourous films
1982 Le Beau mariage (A Good Marriage) — cant remember anything about it...must not have been very good
1983 Pauline à la plage (Pauline At The Beach) — fantastic! will discuss later!
1984 Les Nuits de la pleine lune (Full Moon In Paris) — meh
1986 Le Rayon vert (The Green Ray/Summer) — i saw this a while ago and consider this a worthy entrance into rohmer's catalog though not deserving in they shoot picture's top 1000 films of all time
1987 L'Ami de mon amie (My Girlfriend's Boyfriend/Boyfriends and Girlfriends) — worst of the bunch but not horrible

last week, i watched A SUMMER'S TALE (CONTE D'ETE) and absolutely loved it. this was a part of his his series of films; the seasons series.

plot: musician falls goes to south of france to meet girlfriend who doesnt show up. he falls in love once and then again. there is a romance, melancholy, and music; all the things i love in life.

the common link Summer's Tale and PAULINE AT THE BEACH is Amanda Langlet, the cute, intellectual, and engaging star of Pauline and Summer's Tale. In each of them, she plays a wise beyond her years teen confused by love and baffled by relationships. she has an incredible charm, sophistication, and spunk that is decidedly french but not the somber sort exemplified by sandrine bonnaire.

its movies like pauline and summer's tale that make me wish i was a french teen in the late 80s/early 90s. i totally want to hang out with french hipsters in skinny jeans listening to british music. i started that sentence quite genuinely but now it seems really silly. ok, i will change that too. i wish i was french and had a time machine to go back 20 years. i already have the hipster, jeans, and music part taken care of. on a related note, i did put this lego version of the eiffel tower together in the last few days.

so yeah, in summation, rohmer has some pretty good films and in the spirit of echoing past blog sentiments, know your movie type.