Eric Rohmer

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5.5 The Sign of Leo (1962)
6.0 The Bakery Girl of Monceau (1963)
6.5 The Collector (1967)
7.0 My Night at Maud's (1969)
7.2 Claire's Knee (1970)
6.8 Love in the Afternoon (1972)
6.0 Die Marquise Von Ö... (1976)
6.0 Perceval (1978)
6.0 A Good Marriage (1981)
7.0 The Aviator's Wife (1981)
7.0 Pauline at the Beach (1983)
6.7 Full Moon in Paris (1984)
7.3 The Green Ray (1986)
5.0 Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle (1987)
5.0 The Boyfriend of my Girlfriend (1987)
6.0 A Tale of Springtime (1990)
7.0 A Tale of Winter (1992)
6.6 A Summer's Tale (1996)
6.8 The Tree, The Mayor, and the Mediatheque (1993)
6.7 Autumn Tale (1998)
6.5 The Lady And The Duke (2001)
5.0 Triple Agent (2004)
6.0 The Romance of Astrea and Celadon (2007)

If English is your first language and you could translate my old Italian texts, please contact me.

Eric Rohmer (France, 1920) debuted with Le Signe du lion/ The Sign of Leo (1962), filmed in 1959 but released only three years later.

I sei "racconti morali" di Eric Rohmer, girati nel decennio 1963-72, rappresentano una rigorosa concezione del cinema, derivata da Bresson e da Bazin, che rifiuta ogni sentimentalismo e spettacolarità a favore di un'etica dell'immagine spoglia e limpida. Dal punto di vista narrativo Rohmer si limita a descrivere uno stato di cose, a manifestare il desiderio di agire su di esso (per cambiarlo, per distruggerlo) e ad accettarne l'immutabilità; la realtà non può essere modificata, un ordine misterioso e potentissimo la stabilisce e la conserva; i suoi personaggi sono tentati di ribellarsi a questa forza sovrumana, ma alla fine ritrovano la "fede" in essa (percorso morale che ricorda il processo religioso della tentazione e della preghiera). I dialoghi hanno una notevole importanza in questo cinema fatto soltanto di sfumature psicologiche.

Il primo fu La Boulangere de Monceau/ The Bakery Girl of Monceau (1963).

La Collectionneuse/ The Collector (1967): due amici trascorrono una vacanza in una villa con una ragazza collezionista di uomini; pur ostentando entrambi un disprezzo maschilista, il più emotivo cede al fascino della ragazza, mentre il secondo, più raffinato, continua a resisterle; quando decide di accettarla, lei se ne va con due ragazzi di passaggio e all'escluso rimane il sapore amaro di non aver goduta la vita finchè era in tempo.

Ma Nuit Chez Maud/ My Night at Maud's (1969) is a verbose moral tale in which the characters endlessly discuss religion and chance, and self-analyze and analyze each other. A rather slow film, it feels more like theater than cinema. A lot of time is wasted in pointless details. The film is redeemed by the ending, in which all the religious discussions are shown in a different light, a revelation of falsehood and hypocrisy. Ultimately, the film is a tragedy of cheating and betraying. The real protagonist, or at least the moral core of the film, is not the incoherent and hypocritical engineer who marries the prudish (and also hypocritical) Catholic but the agnostic woman who has been robbed twice of her happiness by that very prudish Catholic.

Jean-Louis (we learn his name only much later) stares at the view of the countryside from is balcony and then drives to mass. While praying he notices a blond woman, who, in turn, notices that he is staring at her. At the end of mass she rides away on her bicycle and he follows her in his car but he loses her. His voiceover tells us that he was convinced that the stranger is going to be his wife. Some time later he walks into a cafe and meets his old friend Vidal, who teaches philosophy at the university. He tells Vidal that he has just returned from South America and is longing for some solitude, and that he has been studying mathematics. He tells Vidal that he is reading again Blaise Pascal (they are in Pascal's hometown) but, as practicing Catholic, he is disappointed. Vidal is a Marxist and admires Pascal, a pioneer of probability theory. It is Christmas' Eve and Jean-Louis takes Vidal, an atheist, to mass. Jean-Louis looks around but doesn't see the blond woman. Vidal is seeing Maud, a divorced woman, a paediatrician, who has a daughter, Marie. After Christmas they visit Maud together. Over dinner they discuss Pascal again, and his rational, calculated vision of Christianity. We learn that Vidal and Jean-Louis have known each other since they were children and haven't seen each other in 14 years (Jean-Louis is 34). Jean-Louis confess that he's never been lucky with his many girlfriends. He also adds that he has "converted" and doesn't chase women anymore. Vidal flirts with Maud but she keeps him at arm's length. She changes to a simple gowns and goes to bed while continuing the conversation about Christian morality, Pascal, mathematics and Jean-Luis' past girlfriends. Jean-Luis argues that mathematics is abstract and therefore anti-Christian. It starts snowing outside. Maud offers Jean-Louis to sleep over because the road to his country home could be icy. Vidal leaves and Jean-Louis is left alone with Maud. Maud psychoanalyzes Jean-Louis, the contradiction between his Christianity and his love affairs. Maud thinks that Vidal had a subconscious desire to get rid of her when he brough Jean-Louis to her. She insists that he must be in love without knowing it. We learn that he's an engineer. He starts interviewing her about her divorce. She discloses that her ex-husband was cheating on her with a practicing Catholic blond, and that she herself had an affair with a doctor who felt like the perfect match for her but was killed one year earlier in a car accident precisely on a icy road. When it gets late and Jean-Louis would like to sleep, she reveals that her bed is the only bed. And Vidal knew. The proclaims that the bed is big enough for two and that he can sleep above the blanket if he wants. At the same time she gets naked in the bed. She seems to be tempting his "conversion". She seems amused by his prudish behavior. Jean-Louis is a little upset. He doesn't undress, lies on top of the blanket and says goodnight. during the night she rolls over him and starts caressing him. He almost makes love to her but then pushes her away. She seems offended but then invites him to join her and Vidal for a mountain excursion. However, Jean-Louis stops at a cafe and sees the blond woman riding her bicycle in the street. He runs outside without even wearing his jacket and boldly approaches her. Instead of being scared, she seems flattered and introduces herself as Francoise. Initially she simply tells him that they will meet again whenever chance affords it, but Jean-Louis doesn't like chance (another reference to Pascal?). They agree to meet on sunday at mass. Jean-Louis then joins Maud and Vidal for the mountain hike. During the hike Vidal devotes his attention to a new girl. Jean-Louis is more comfortable with Maud and even kisses her. He even seems to imply that he wants to marry her, even though she is not a Catholic. After the walk, they drop off Vidal and his girl and cook lunch at Maud's. He keeps repeating that he is the faithful type and believes in monogamy. This time she's the one who is reluctant. He tells him that in a month she'll leave town. But they make love (we learn this later). At night Jean-Louis drives to the same place where he saw Francoise and sure enough he finds her there. He drives her home. Francoise tells him that she is a 22-year-old biology student and lives with other students in a country house. The car, however, gets stuck in the icy snow. She invites him to sleep in the house. After analyzing their respective solitudes, he sleeps in a separate room. Before falling asleep, he browses through a book on "true and false conversions". When they wake up, she ironically reminds him that it's sunday and they have to meet at the church. He tells her that he loves her and tries to kiss her, but she gently pushes him away. After church they walk around town and run into Vidal, who knows Francoise because he teaches at the university. She looks embarrassed. It starts snowing and he tries again to kiss her, but again she turns away. She confesses that she just broke up with her a lover: a married man. She feels guilty that she slept with a married man. He confesses that he just slept with another woman. So they are both guilty in front of their religion. Five years later, Jean-Louis and Francoise are married. They are walking to the back with their child when they run into Maud. She knows Francoise and Francoise, embarrassed, walks away with the child. Maud has remarried but she is not happy: there's a sad look on her face, maybe regret. When Maud leaves, he confesses to Francoise that he had an affair with Maud, but also sense that Francoise has kept a bigger secret: her own affair was with Maud's husband. Maud had mentioned that her husband left her for a blond Catholic.

Le Genou de Claire/ Claire's Knee (1970) is his most psychological film, almost a Freudian thriller that has to do with a man exorcising his sexual demons so that he can become a stable adult.

A man is driving his boat under a bridge of a lake when he is recognized by a woman who is standing on the bridge, known as the "lovers' bridge". They are good friends: Jerome and Aurora. he is here to sell a home. He lives in Sweden, used to be in Morocco. He tells her that he's getting married. Jerome gives her a boat ride to the villa where she is renting a room, and Aurora introduces her to her landlady and her teenage daughter Laura. It turns out that Jerome is a childhood friend of the landlady and reminisces how he used to play with her brothers when he was a child. The following day Jerome and Aurora explore the villa that he is selling. We learn that Aurora is a Romanian writer and that Jerome, a diplomat who has lived all over the world and has been with his fiance Lucinde for six years. They broke up several times and had affairs, but now he thinks she's the one. Aurora thinks that little Laura has a crush on him and Aurora, a writer, imagines a love story between them. The following day he visits her room and sees a photograph of the landlady's other daughter, Claire. Aurora leaves Jerome alone with Laura. Laura is lonely because all her friends left for vacation after school ended and the summer vacations started. We learn that Claire is her half-sister from her mother's second marriage after Laura's father died, and that her mother divorced Claire's father. Laura will soon go on vacation to England. Aurora stops Jerome when he's about to mention his marriage, as if encouraging Laura to fall in love with him. While lunching with Aurora's landlady and with Laura, Jerome casually mentions that he's getting married in a month. Laura has an argument with her mother and leaves them. Aurora tells Jerome to follow Laura and comfort her. Jerome invites Laura to go for a walks. Another time Jerome looks for Aurora but instead finds Laura alone and invites her to his house, where he shows her a picture of his fiance Lucinde. They discuss love, and Laura self-analyzes. Days later Jerome shows up in a suit and tie and with a bunch of roses for Laura's mother, who introduces Jerome to her older friend Jacques. Laura asks to go hiking on the mountain with Jerome and sleep at the hotel on top of the mountain. When Laura leaves, her mother tells Jerome that she guessed Laura's crush on him but Jerome reassures her. However, the following day during the hike he hugs her and kisses her. Laura pushes him back but admits that she's in love with him and doesn't care about the age difference but only wants to love a man who loves her back. Laura tells Jerome that she's unhappy that her mother is getting married again, with Jacques, and again she self-analyzes: she feels comfortable only with man old enough to be her father. We learn that Claire is in love with a local boy, Gilles. Finally, Laura's half-sister Claire arrives. Jerome finds her alone at home, suntanning by the beach in a sexy bikini. They just started chatting when her boyfriend arrives. Jerome leaves in a hurry. Aurora returns after a mysterious absence with a new friend. Later, while Laura is playing with her friend Vincent in the lake, Jerome tells Aurora that he tested Laura during the hike only to see if she was making fun of him, but he really tested his own love for Lucinde. When he is alone with Laura's friend Vincent, he interrogates him like a jealous secret lover or a worried father. Another day Claire and Gilles pick fruit from a tree and Jerome can't help staring at Claire's legs. One night at an outdoors party Jerome dances with Laura while Claire finds an excuse not to dance with him. Another time Jerome follows Claire and Gilles and watches as Gilles touches Claire's knee. Aurora confesses to Jerome that the previous year she wanted to test how attractive she still was for young boys and seduces three of them, a matter of ego. At this point Jerome tells Aurora that the story with Laura (the imaginary story that Aurora came up with and Jerome almost made it happen for real) is over, but that there might be a new story with Claire and then he self-analyzes his own desire for Claire, confessing that he's particularly turned on by her knee. Aurora finds a way to help him touch her knee, but it's only a fleeting moment. Jerome lends the boat to Gilles and Claire but they disturb a campground, Jerome gets into an argument with Gilles, Laura comes to side with Gilles and Jerome gets angry at her. The following day Jerome tells Laura that he dislikes Gilles and asks Laura to advise Claire to dump him. Laura guesses that Jerome is jealous of Gilles. Finally, Laura leaves for England. One day Claire asks Jerome for a boat ride to town, but a sudden thunderstorm forces them to stop at the first shelter they find. While they wait, he starts lecturing her about Gilles. Since she defends Gilles' behavior, Jerome tells her that he saw him with another girl (we don't know whether this is true or he's making it up). Claire still tries to defend Girlles but Jerome keeps torturing her until Claire starts crying and then Jerome can finally caress her knee to comfort her. He keeps caressing, presenting an act of desire as an act of sympathy, until the rain stops. Back home he describes in detail the scene to Aurora. He feels good for two reasons: with this action he got rid of his obsession for Claire, and he convinced Claire to dump a boy who didn't deserve her. And Jerome concludes that he did all the flirting with the two girls because of her, of Aurora, and now is ready to go to Lucinde He credits Aurora with strengthening his feelings for Lucinde. Autora waves him goodbye after telling him that she is engaged with the mysterious man who came to visit her. The film ends with Gilles explaining to Claire why he was with that other girl, a perfectly good excuse, and with Claire relieved that it was nothing to worry about.

L'Amour L'Après-midi/ Love in the Afternoon (1972): un padrone d'industria, padre e marito, viene tentato da una vecchia amica che vorrebbe un figlio da lui, ma resiste.

Dopo aver trasposto il racconto morale di Kleist Die Marquise Von Ö... (1976), disinnescandone l'enfatico romanticismo, e il Perceval (1978) di Chretien de Troyes, Rohmer ritorna al ricamo psicologico con la commedia frizzante Le Beau Mariage/ A Good Marriage (1981): simpatica studentessa d'arte decide di trovare marito e mette nel mirino un professionista timido che però evita accuratamente di cadere nella trappola, sicchè alla ragazza non rimane che negare di essere mai stata attratta da lui.

Rohmer inauguro` una nuova series, "comedies and proverbs", con La Femme de l'Aviateur/ The Aviator's Wife (1981), un racconto Hitchcock-iano tutto costruito su decine di piccole coincidenze, un saggio sul potere assoluto del caso. E` il primo capitolo di "commedie e proverbi". Talvolta sterili e stanche, affidate a personaggi vuoti e autoindulgenti, appesantite da dialoghi troppo letterari e intelligenti per essere anche emotivi, freddamente calcolate, artificiali, asettiche, le sue commedie ripetono all'infinito un clichè di tecnica fine a sé stessa. Il pessimismo cartesiano di Rohmer è giunto al suo punto più esplicito: la vita è un congegno di cui l'uomo non ha controllo, tutto è vano, insensato e nelle mani del caso. I personaggi affondano in un fitto vuoto di equivoci e coincidenze. La voluttà dell'attesa vana, il perverso godere umano delle cose inarrivabili.

Un giovane respinto dalla sua ragazza spia un uomo sposato che ha visto uscire dalla casa di lei, e che in effetti ne è stato l'amante ma è tornato da lei soltanto per troncare; surante il pedinamento conosce un'altra ragazza, che si diverte un mondo ad aiutarlo; quando l'ex gli toglie le ultime speranze, il giovane vorrebbe tentare con quest'altra, ma la trova fra le braccia di un amico, e si allontana stordito fra la folla.

Pauline à la plage/ Pauline at the Beach (1983) is one of the better architected "comedies and proverbs", although it suffers, as usual, of lengthy theatrical dialogues. It contains, however, two powerful portraits: of an incredibly naive (stupid?) woman and of a clever and amoral Machiavellian hypocrite. Pauline, instead, is simply a spectator of the comedy, and the only thing she learns is that men cannot be trusted because they are all selfish (although in three different ways). Not even truth is a solution to the puzzle created by the machinations of the liar. At the end the two women are alone and loveless just like at the beginning, each more interested in protecting their self-confidence than in finding out the true character of their lovers.

The teenager Pauline and her older, sexy cousin Marion arrive at a quiet vacation home near the beach. Marion asks Pauline whether she's been in love. Pauline had a crush when she was six for a 12-year-old boy. Marion is divorced. At the beach Marion finds an old boyfriend, Pierre, whom she hasn't seen since she got married. Pierre is a windsurfing instructor and one of his prospective customers arrives, the older Henri. an ethnologist who lives in the South Pacific islands and is vacationing with his little daughter Marie. Henri invites all of them to dinner at his house. A lengthy, tedious conversation follows. Henri is also divorced and enjoys the freedom of being single as his daughter normally lives with the mother. Marion is a romantic who is waiting for real eternal love. Pierre is skeptic about love at first sight and just wants somebody he can trust. Pauline agrees with Pierre. They move to a night-club where they dance. Pierre tries to kiss Marion, claiming he still loves her, but Marion is not interested and instead kisses Henri in front of Pierre, as if to hurt his feelings. After the club, Pierre disappears, while Henri joins Marion and Pauline at their house. Pauline goes to bed. Henri and Marion are left alone. The following day Pierre teaches Marion and Pauline how to windsurf. Pauline briefly meets a boy named Sylvain. Marion is soon bored and walks to Henri's place. Henry has sent his daughter back to his wife. We learn that Henri and Marion had sex the night before. Marion pretends to be careful in love but then she's an easy prey, and she doesn't want to tell the truth to Pierre, thereby leaving him hopes, enjoying his jealousy while decrying it. Marion even suggests to Pierre that he should seduce Pauline and taker her virginity. Meanwhile, Sylvain and Pauline spend more time together. Henri invites them to listen to a new record he bought and they dance and kiss. Henri goes to the post office and the kids have sex. Marion, looking for Henri, sees them. Marion doesn't interrupt them but tells Henri, pretending to care for little Pauline, but Henri who doesn't care (nor does she in reality). Sylvain and Pauline return to the beach. Henri and Marion move into the house and have sex. Oen day Marion and Pauline drive to a tourist village nearby. Sylvain sees Henri at the beach with another girl, Louisette, and joins them. Pierre sees them too but walks away. Henri seduces Louisette at his house while Sylvan watches television, indifferent to the fact that Henri is cheating on Pauline's cousin. Henri does nothing to hide that he is sleeping with another girl. Pierre see them from the window having sex. When Marion arrives unexpected, Sylvain warn Henri. Sylvain and Louisette hide in the bathroom. Marion sees their silhouettes through the glass door and Henri improvises a lie: that Sylvain and Louisette are lovers. The two go along with the lie. Henri convinces Marion not to tell Pauline that her boyfriend slept with another girl. The following day Pierre drives to the girls' house to tell Marion about Henri's betrayal. Marion explaints to Pierre that it was Sylvain who was sleeping with Louisette. Marion is amused by Pierre's jealousy. Marion is not only convinced that Henri truly loves her, she is also convinced that their relationship will work even though Henri is a globetrotter. Pierre is desperate that she doesn't love him instead of Henri. Marion encourages him to seduce Pauline, now that they both believe Sylvain cheated on Pauline. Pierre tries to warn Pauline about Sylvain. When Pauline shows so much affection for Sylvain, Pierre can't help telling Pauline what he heard from Marion. Pauline is heartbroken. To console her, Henri comes up with another lie: that Louisette threw herself to Sylvain but Sylvain rejected her. Pierre runs into Louisette and learns the truth: that Louisette didn't sleep with Sylvain but with Henri, as he suspected from the beginning. Then he runs into Sylvain but doesn't tell him anything. Sylvain confronts Henri: he's pissed that now Pauline believes he cheated on her and swears to tell her the truth, that Henri is the one who slept with Louisette. Henri confesses to Sylvain that Marion annoys him and he sleeps with her only because she is so persistent (she believes he loves her). Pauline and Marion chat at their house: Pauline is sad (believing that Sylvain cheated on her), Marion is happy (believing that Henri is in love with her). Marion is completely delusional about Henri's feelings. Their discussion is interrupted by a telegram: Marion has to drive back to Paris for a business meeting. The following day Pierre tells Pauline that Sylvain is innocent. Pierre remarks that both Pauline and Marion fell for the least interesting guys around. Pierre tells Pauline that he is sad that Marion is creating her own misery and that he still has hopes that some day she'll fall in love with him. Then Henri and Sylvain show up. Pierre forces Henri to confess the truth to Pauline. Pauline now despises all three men. Henri apologizes to everybody for causing so much trouble and asks Pauline to stay the night, since she'd be alone at her house without Marion. Pierre doesn't like the idea but relents when Pauline accepts. Pierre drive Sylvain home. In the morning Henri is woken up by a phone call from someone who offers him a sailing trip. Henri wakes up Pauline with tender kisses on her legs. She kicks him away. Henri gives Pauline a letter for Marion explaining that he will be gone for two weeks. Pauline asks him to face Marion in person, since Marion will be back in a few hours, but Henri finds an excuse. Henri also confesses to Pauline that he is not attracted to the perfect Marion like he is to the imperfect Louisette (a humble street vendor). Marion arrives and reads the farewell letter, and pretends not to be heartbroken. Pauline doesn't tell her the truth (that Henri, not Sylvain, slept with Louisette), but Pauline proposes that they end their vacation (since they are both in a melancholy mood). Marion accepts. As they leave the house, Marion confesses that she has doubts whether Henri was the one who slept with Louisette, but offers Pauline a deal: Pauline will believe in a version of the story in which she has not been betrayed by Sylvain, and Marion will continue to believe in her version of the story, in which she has not been betrayed by Henri.

Les Nuits de Lune Pleine/ Full Moon in Paris (1984) è centrato sul ritratto intimo di una giovane parigina indipendente; seppur innamorata di un ragazzo, vuole a tutti i costi mantenere la propria indipendenza, ma finisce per perderlo; acutezza psicologica nel descrivere le paure e le incertezze del sesso e il bisogno di libertà.

Le Rayon Vert/ The Green Ray (1986), uno dei suoi capolavori, e` una storia di frustrazione femminile:

Una segretaria riceva una telefonata improvvisa dall'amica con cui doveva andare in vacanza: le comunica che non vuole pu` andare con lei. Delphine e` sola e malinconica e non sa cosa fare per le vacanze adesso. Amici e parenti le danno consigli, ma lei vuole andare al sole e in compagnia, ma non con un gruppo... Le amiche sono preoccupate, perche' sanno che con il suo ragazzo precedente (e fidanzato) e` finita e non ha nessun altro. Va a trovare la famiglia di un'amica. L'amica e` intraprendente e audace, e non esita ad approcciare ragazzi. Ma D e` timida e si tira indietro con ogni sorta di scuse. E` una ragazza difficile, a cui non piacciono tantissime cose. La gente e` cordiale con lei, ma lei rovina l'umore degli altri con le sue fisime, e alla fine e` proprio lei a sentirsi strana e sola. E continua a illudersi che il fidanzato sia ancora il suo ragazzo, semplicemente difficile da vedere. Non vuole ammettere di essere rimasta sola. Torna a Parigi perche' non si trova a suo agio con la famiglia dell'amica. Un uomo la segue, ma lei lo scoraggia. Chiede all'ex fidanzato il permesso di soggiornare al suo chalet di montagna. S'incammina sola in montagna e si annoia, cosi` decide di tornare a Parigi. Incontra un'amica che le offre un posto in riviera. Donne parlano di un libro intitolato "Rayon Verte" e del fenomeno del raggio verde, che si intravede talvolta all'orizzonte. Sulla spiaggia incontra una ragazza svedese che sta viaggiando da sola. La svedese e` disinibita e intraprendente, proprio l'opposto dell'impacciata e frustrata D. Ma D e` incorreggibile, non si lascia andare, si irrigidisce, e alla fine scoppia in lacrime e rimane sola. Sta tornando a Parigi, quando alla stazione incontra uno sconosciuto che sta andando in vacanza per il weekend, e finalmente si lascia convincere a tentare la sorte. Con lui si apre e fa una auto-analisi. Camminando passano davanti a un negozio che si chiama "Rayon Vert" e lei lo interpreta come un segno. Vanno a vedere il tramonto e lei vuole aspettare il raggio verde. Film-conversazione, fine studio psicologico e tutto il resto: ma fondamentalmente senza nerbo. Il simbolismo del raggio verde e` patetico, fa sembrare attuali i film di Cocteau.

Quatre aventures de Reinette et Mirabelle/ Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle (1987), studentessa e contadinella, la seconda insegna alla prima i segreti della natura; in città la prima spiega alla seconda la morale approssimativa della vita urbana alla seconda, scandalizzandola.

L'Amis de mon Amie/ The Boyfriend of my Girlfriend (1987), commedia e proverbio provinciale; in una città di architettura modernista quattro amici e i loro amori: due sono ex-innamorati che vogliono lasciarsi; la protagonista è l'amica di lei, sola e sogna l'uomo ideale, che crede di vedere nell'ingegnere, mentre il ragazzo della sua amica le fa il filo; l'ingegnere viene sedotto dall'amica, e lei si mette con l'ex-ragazzo dell'amica.

Conte de Printemps/ A Tale of Springtime (1990) inaugura il ciclo delle quattro stagioni, proseguito con Conte d'Hiver/ A Tale of Winter (1992), forse il migliore dei quattro.
The film is overlong but otherwise a charming portrait of a singular woman and her faith in a sort of atheistic providence. She never stops believing that her dream will come true and it does.

The film opens with scenes of a young woman and a man who are in love in a beach location. They part at a train station and she returns to her home town, having given him her home address and asked him to keep in touch. (All of this happens in the first 4 minutes). Five years later the young woman, Felicie, wakes up in the Parisian apartment of her boyfriend Loic who kisses her before leaving for work. She takes the subway to go to work at a hairdresser salon and meets the owner, Maxence, who tells her that he is moving to another town to open another salon. They resent it because... they are lovers. Maxence knows that she is sleeping also with another man. Maxence invites her to follow him to his new home but she hesitates because she has... a daughter, Elise. She is a single mother with two boyfriends... Maxence is married but separating from his wife Juliette. Felicie accepts to move in with him. When Felicie gets home, we see that she keeps a portrait of the lover of five years earlier in her daughter's room. Felicie tells her mother that she has decided to move in with Maxence and her mother is surprised because Felicie has been staying at Loic's apartment. Her mother thinks that Loic would be the perfect husband. Felicie defends Maxence, who is not as educated as Loic, whom she calls "a bookworm". Felicie visits Maxence for a weekend to see the new salon and the new apartment. They walk around the old town like tourists. They start chatting about Elise's father. She tells Maxence that he was moving to the USA. The reason he never contacted her is that she made a mistake when she gave him her address. So this man doesn't know that he has a daughter, Elise. Lois was initially a friend who helped her search for the lost lover. The problem is that Felicie doesn't even know his name: he was called Charles at the restaurant where he worked as a chef, but she is not sure that's his real name and in any case she doesn't remember his last name. She returns home knowing that the next step is to tell Loic that she chose to live with Maxence. She finds two friends with Loic: they are having intellectual discussions that are boring for her. Loic knows that she's been dating Maxence at the same time that she was living with him but is surprised that she decided to move in with him. Felicie admits to Loic that she is still obsessed with Elise's father Charles, that she has visions of him in the streets, and hopes that moving to a small town will heal her of her obsession. She loves the lost Charles more than she loves either Maxence or Loic. Felicie has Christmas dinner with her mother and her sister's family. Then she moves for good to Maxence's place with her daughter Elise, but she soon realizes that she doesn't love Maxence enough to live with him, especially after a visit to a church to show Elise the Nativity. Maxence tries in vain to convince her to stay. She leaves him and returns to Paris. Felicie surprises Loic at the library where he works as a librarian. He invites her to move in with him again but she prefers to look for an apartment for her and Elise. He takes her to theater to see Shakespeare's "The Winter Tale" (of which we see a very long excerpt). Felicie is moved when she sees the statue of Hermione become alive. On the way back home Felicie and Loic discuss her emotional response to it and she tells him that she went to meditate/pray in a church before leaving Maxence. At the same time she decided that she shouldn't give up searching for Charles, although she admits that the chance of ever meeting him again is almost non-existent. She believes that the soul is immortal, that always existed and always will, and that she met Charles in a previous life. Loic links her statements to the opinions of famous philosophers like Pascal and Plato, taking her too seriously. Indirectly, this emphasizes her ignorance, and, to her, the gap between them, the intellectual and the single mom. Loic and Felicie take Elise to the zoo. Felicie now wants Loic only as a friend. Meanwhile we see the windshield of a car that is on the road. And then one day she takes a bus and, out of the blue, she's sitting in front of... Charles himself! They recognize each other, and Elise recognizes her father from the picture in her room, but Felicie is like paralyzed. She explains to him that she gave him the wrong address. Seeing that he is with a woman, Felicie actually runs out of the bus with Elise. Charles, however, chases her and explains that he is still single and has no children. Felicie corrects him: he does have a daughter. Thus Charles learns that the little Elise is his daughter. Felicie takes Charles to her mother. Charles invites Felicie to move with him to a town in the north and she accepts. Felicie's sister and her family arrive and the film ends.

Conte d'Ete'/ A Summer's Tale (1996), e interrotto dalla satira allegorica L'Arbre, le Maire et la Mediatheque ou les Sept Hasards / The Tree, The Mayor, and the Mediatheque (1993) e dai tre episodi di Rendezvous de Paris (1995).

Comte d'Automne/ Autumn Tale (1998) conclude il programma dei "racconti delle quattro stagioni".

Emilia non va d'accordo con la madre, Isabelle, ma sta per sposarsi e le due donne stanno organizzando una grande festa. Isabelle, una libraria di citta`, e` anche amica di Maguli, una contadina vedova che possiede un vigneto in campagna. Maguli soffre la solitudine, soprattutto adesso che entrambi i figli se ne sono andati (non andavano d'accordo). A tener compagnia a Maguli e` soprattutto Rosine, la ragazza del figlio Leo. E` una ragazza sempre sorridente, buona e cordiale, ma al tempo stesso pragmatica: ha avuto una relazione con un suo professore, Etienne, ma adesso lo vuole soltanto come amico, e sa benissimo che la storia con Leo non durera` a lungo.
Sia Isabelle sia Rosine giungono indipendentemente alla conclusione che Maguli ha bisogno di un uomo. Isabelle decide di mettere un annuncio nel giornale. Rosine decide di farla sposare a Etienne, e risolvere in tal modo due problemi.
Isabelle incontra uno degli uomini che hanno risposto, Gerald, e sente di aver trovato l'uomo giusto. Spacciatasi per Maguli, verifica prima che Gerald sia interessato in una contadina. Finalmente gli rivela la sua vera identita` e il suo vero obiettivo. Gerald, gentiluomo, sta al gioco e accetta di partecipare alla festa di matrimonio a cui e` invitata anche Maguli.
Rosine convince Etienne a partecipare per la stessa ragione.
Durante la festa Maguli si trova pertanto al centro dell'attenzione. E` subito conquistata da Gerald, ma viene urtata nel vederlo abbracciato a Isabelle (in realtA` Isabelle lo sta soltanto ringraziando), e Gerald a sua volta e` conquistato da lei. Rosine quasi rovina tutto, presentandola a Etienne, ma fortunatamente i due non si piacciono. Gerald si offre di riaccompagnare Maguli a casa. Durante il tragitto Maguli e` scontrosa. Si fa lasciare a una stazione. Poi prende un taxi e torna alla villa a confessarsi. Gerald, deluso, gira a sua volta l'auto e torna alla villa per capire cosa sia successo. Sembrano due liceali timidi alle prime armi. La risata finale e` tipica dei finali patetici e banali di Rohmer, come quando si brinda alla fine di una bella storia.
Il problema di questi racconti, anche quando sono raccontati con tanta grazia, e` che hanno ben poco da raccontare. Alcune scene si protraggono a lungo senza aggiungere nulla al film. Rohmer, da buon francese, si compiace di bere vino e camminare nei vigneti, e di chiacchierare e di spettegolare. Tutto qui.

Comte d'Automne/ Autumn Tale (1998) is the last part of Rohmer's tales, and could be the best of the bunch, but it does not improve substantially the quality of the series. Slow pace, lack of content, predictable plot, superficial characterization, would sabotage the moral tale even if the moral itself were any interesting. Which is not.

L'Anglaise et le Duc/ The Lady and the Duke (2001), adapted from Grace Elliot's "Journal of My Life", is a historical costume drama that mainly displays Rohmer's elegance at choreographing complex actions. The atmosphere of the tale is slightly reminiscent of a fairy tale because of the lego-like and very chromatic reconstruction of Paris (all digital backdrops). Rohmer based the mise en scene of Les Rendez-vous de Paris (1995) on sculpture and painting, and the one of Conte d'Hiver (1992) on theater. Here he uses architecture. At the same time, the dialogues and many of the scenes are so shallow (by his standards) to sound and look more reminiscent of USA sitcoms than of the French nouvelle vague. The psychological study is abandoned in favor of pushing the plot through dramatic situations. Stories prevail over souls. Tragedies prevail over torments. Ideologically, the revolution is depicted as a barbaric act, led by barbaric people. The elegance and erudition of the aristocrats is contrasted with the sloppiness and the ignorance of the rioting masses. There are moments when it is not a pleasure to watch it, it is a test of patience.
Like in all of his films, many of the scenes are gratuitous. Only towards the very end does the film cohere and create some true drama. Rohmer makes movies because he can, not necessarily because he is inspired. He "can" because he is a gifted, amiable visual storyteller. But many of the redundant scenes deliver just that message: that he created them because he can, not because they were needed for the story or for the atmosphere. The film could have been half as long, and lose absolutely nothing.

The film opens with a sequence of stills that look like period paintings. The last one is set in motion and the story begins.
Just before the French revolution, Grace, a Scottish lady who lives in Paris, is warned by her protector, the Duke of Orleans, to leave the city while she can. The revolution erupts shortly afterward and she has to dress like a commoner and walk all night to make it alive to her country estate. She is safe there, but a friend, Clarissa, sends for her, claiming that a friend needs her. Grace does not hesitate to travel to Paris, despite the danger. She is stopped by rioting mobs who exhibit the heads of the beheaded aristocrats, and left alone only because she is a foreigner. She reaches her friend and learns the problem: a royalist, hunted by the revolutionaries who now control Paris, needs help to escape. Grace has no clue how to help him. She hides him under the mattress of her bed when a patrol searches her house. She begs the Duke for help. The Duke admits that he started the revolution, but now the revolution has taken a course of its own and he doesn't control it anymore. Disguised as her valet, he manages to reach her country house and then is smuggled out of the country. Grace is disgusted that the king and the queen are imprisoned. She learns that many in the national assembly want to kill them. The Duke, who is also a cousin of the king, cannot help. All he can promise to do is to abstain, or be killed himself. Instead, she learns that the Duke voted in favor of the death penalty. She vows to never see him again and destroys every object that once belonged to him. But soon she is charmed by his letters and they are friends again. But the Duke now has a deadly enemy: Robespierre. They both fall victims to his regime of terror. They find themselves in the same tribunal. He is coming out when she is going in. She is investigated because some zealots found a letter in English that they deemed suspicious, and one of the members of the jury would gladly behead her for that alone. Luckily the letter turns out to be from a friend of the French revolution. The other members of the jury vote to release her. When the fanatical one screams that she is a friend of the Duke, and therefore must be executed no matter what, Robespierre in person walks in and let her go. The Duke is indeed arrested and executed. Grace is arrested shortly thereafter, but Robespierre's fall saves her.

Triple Agent (2004) is based on a true story of a Soviet spy before World War II.

The Romance of Astree and Celadon (2007), based on Honore d'Urfe's 17th-century novel,

Rohmer died in 2010.

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