January 16, 2010

ROHMERIAN:

My Nights With Eric (ANDRÉ ACIMAN, 1/14/10, NY Times)

To see an Eric Rohmer film is not to escape from the drudgery of our daily lives; it is to sit quietly and have someone show us lives that are not entirely different from ours but different enough, situations we’ve all been in and couldn’t wait to get out of but could have learned from, if only we’d had the patience and the courage to sit through them.

Mr. Rohmer was the master of tact — tact in the way his characters behave with one another, tact in the way he himself, as a director, spun his tales, and ultimately tact with truth and fiction. In his hands, sex could be suspended, and passion, without ever boiling over, seldom went cold.

I can’t forget the scene in “My Night at Maud’s” when the very pious engineer in the business suit decides to sit on Maud’s bed while she is lying under the covers with only a T-shirt on, determined to seduce him. They stare at each other, and they talk, and she tells him things, and he tells her things, and still they talk, and it’s clear to everyone, including the characters themselves, that though this strange couple has just met hours earlier and may not share a sliver of love between them, what we’ve just witnessed is one of the most intimate scenes in movie history.

It is impossible to watch this scene or certain moments in “Tale of Autumn,” “A Good Marriage” or “Full Moon in Paris” and not envy the candor of Eric Rohmer’s men and women, their impulse to dissect each nuance of desire and then turn around and confide it right away to those who’d aroused them.

With my friends we used to call these situations Rohmerian.

MORE:
Eric Rohmer 1920 - 2010: In Memoriam (STEVE VINEBERG | January 13, 2010, Boston Phoenix)


Posted by Orrin Judd at January 16, 2010 9:13 AM
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