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Monday, January 11, 2010

C'est vrai! France 24 reports Eric Rohmer dead at 89, influential French New Wave film director

Heard the news around Noon.

See http://www.france24.com/en/

or watch LIVE in English at
http://www.france24.com/en/aef_player_popup/france24_player#

New York Times put something up
around 1:13 p.m. this afternoon.
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/11/eric-rohmer-new-wave-film-director-has-died/

I saw many of his films, like most of the French
New Wave films I've seen, at film art houses
while living in Chicago and Washington, D.C.,
as well as the National Gallery of Art, and
while he was certainly an acquired taste for some
American film-goers, I was a person who found
his films
very... quoi, interesting and idiosyncratic?

When they were good, they were very good,
indeed, and gave you a lot to talk about with
your friends and significant others afterwards,
before you went home.
Lots of nights walking on cold Chicago sidewalks
talking about morality and ambiguity in the modern
world.

So much more enlightening than rehashing for the
1,001st time whether The Tribune Company
was ruining the Cubs!


On the front of the videotape of his 1971
film Claire's Knee, the distributors run excerpts
of New York Times film critic Vincent Canby's
review, creating perhaps the most perfect blurb
you could ever hope for on a film:
"Original, complete, mysterious... practically
perfect."


That it was.



Great view of original poster:
http://www.starandshadow.org.uk/on/film/435

"One of the most extraordinary directorial careers in the history of cinema"
- SIGHT AND SOUND

In their DVD review of the box-set

Eric Rohmer's Six Moral Tales
,
in the BFI's Sight and Sound,
http://www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/
Tim Lewis got to the very heart of
what animated Eric Rohmer:
http://www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/review/3493
The six films comprising this series offer different sketches of the same dilemma. A man falls in love with a woman, thereby forming a commitment, either in fact or in principle, and then must navigate safe passage through sexual temptation by relying on (and sometimes discovering) his moral code, proving himself worthy of that love. Rohmer's brand of morality is subjective and non-judgemental; his characters include students and petits bourgeois and the idle rich, Catholics and atheists, singles and marrieds-with-children, and their standards vary. The point is "to thine own self be true" as the series depicts the ways in which thoughtful people can meet themselves in the mazes of their own stratagems, and how their true selves are sometimes at odds with the people they think they are or aspire to be.

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