THE AVIATOR’S WIFE (Eric Rohmer, 1981)

Launching his “Comedies and Proverbs” series, writer-director Eric Rohmer’s La femme de l’aviateur is another of his gems. An exquisite light comedy disclosing a depth of romantic anxiety, and hurt feelings alternately hidden and flashing, it revolves around a triangle—a woman, her former lover, her current sometime lover—that becomes another triangle, obliquely, when a girl […]

ERIC ROHMER

I am so sad to hear of Eric Rohmer’s death at age 89. Eric Rohmer is one of France’s greatest film artists—and, as a critic, the one who, with Claude Chabrol, wrote the book that convinced the world that Alfred Hitchcock is one of the great Roman Catholic artists of the twentieth century. Rohmer now […]

THE GIRL AT THE MONCEAU BAKERY (Eric Rohmer, 1963)

Completing his stint, begun in 1956, as editor of Cahiers du Cinéma, the great film magazine that he had helped found and is still in existence, Eric Rohmer, born Jean-Marie Maurice Schérer, turned—actually, returned—to filmmaking to launch the series Six Moral Tales. Rohmer was in his mid-forties. He has said that his miraculous Romance of […]

FOUR ADVENTURES OF REINETTE AND MIRABELLE (Eric Rohmer, 1987)

The episodes of writer-director Eric Rohmer’s lovely 4 aventures de Reinette et Mirabelle involve two characters whose ethical judgments contrast: country girl Reinette and Parisian Mirabelle. In “The Blue Hour” the two meet and befriend each other in the country, where Reinette attempts to introduce the city girl, so used to noise, to the moment […]

DON’T TOUCH THE AXE (Jacques Rivette, 2007)

“The Duchess of Langeais is my mistress!”      Armand, the Marquis of Montriveau, is being premature when he announces this in solitude to whatever is keeping score. Indeed, he will never have Antoinette, who is married, and whose future cloistered marriage will be with Jesus Christ. Beginning in 1823, Armand is obsessed; for him, the consummation […]

THE ROMANCE OF ASTREA AND CELADON (Eric Rohmer, 2007)

In fifth-century Gaul, shepherdess Astrée is willfully blind to shepherd Céladon’s chaste love and unwavering fidelity; she allows herself to become jealous by the sight of rival Semyrus pressing her lips against Céladon’s. It is Astrée who pressed Céladon to feign romance with Semyrus to deceive his parents, who loathe her (Astrée); now she tells […]