'My Night With Maud' is now, at last, out on UK DVD after only being available on Region 1 for years and years. That was a shame, because it's well worth a look - there aren't many comparable films around. Eric Rohmer, who died recently, is well known (and often divides opinion) as a director who made films heavily reliant on conversations between characters and subtle interplay between them, without much in the way of outward action. There are no car chases, guns or explosions in this film. I have to be honest - I love his work, but some of my friends find him dull as ditchwater. This is an early example of his style - you are likely to be either engrossed and won over or plain bored!
Being one of the Six Moral Tales series made in the late 60s, this film is basically about a thirty-something man who has to choose between two women - a mysterious pretty stranger in the street, and a friend of a friend, the sexy Maud, with whom he spends a night while stranded by snow, unable to get home. Trintignant, in the lead role, plays the hesitant man brilliantly. It's also fun watching him here, much earlier in his career, if you remember him in Kieslowski's Three Colours Red' as the retired judge, made twenty five years after Maud.
Most of the film is concerned with discussions between the main characters, which take in personal beliefs, religion (Pascal's Wager), philosophy, and so on. In this regard, I suppose, 'My Night With Maud' is quite old fashioned, but it's also great viewing if you like great dialogue and films which tackle big philosophical ideas. Let's face it, there aren't all that many of these around....
The black and white photography in and around Clermont Ferrand in central France is eye catching and looks sharp on this new DVD release.
A key French film from the 60s, this is worth (just under) a couple of hours or any true film fan's time. Highly recommended.