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Eric Rohmer - Six Moral Tales [DVD]
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SUZANNE'S CAREER (1963) A young student finds himself consumed by jealousy and resentment over his friend's treatment of a beautiful young woman/ THE GIRL AT THE MONCEAU BAKERY (1963) A young man affections are divided by two beautiful women/ LA COLLECTIONEUSE (1967) Rohmer's witty and erotic look at the theme of resisting sexual temptations/ MY NIGHT AT MAUDS (1969) In this Oscar nominated comedy, an engineer who thinks he's found his perfect match, accidently spends the night with a rich divorcee/ CLAIRE'S KNEE (1970) This brilliant and insightful comedy charts a man''s secret obsession with a younger woman/ LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON (1972) The last film in Rohmer's acclaimed 'Moral Tales' series deals with a married man's dilemma after he falls for the charms of his friends mistress.
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Top Customer Reviews
After the unfortunate false start of his debut ("Le Signe du Lion") Rohmer found his trademark style with the first Moral Tales "Girl at Monceau Bakery" & "Suzanne's Career" - 2 short 1963 films together on disc 1 of this box set. These are both freewheeling new wave fun - showing what you can do on a zero budget with some black & white film stock and a Paris street as a film set. Both films are coming of age stories (told by voiceover) about young men encountering women & love.
"My Night at Maud's" is probably Rohmer's masterpiece - a black & white film largely consisting of the protagonists sitting in Maud's bedroom talking about religion, politics, philosophy, love and sex (and mathematics!). A much richer film than it might at first appear, extremely accomplished with beautiful cinematography from Nestor Almendros & fantastic acting (especially from Trintignant in a demanding role).
In lovely 60s colour "La Collectioneuse" (1966) is my personal favourite & it's great to have it on DVD at last. Two young nihilistic bohemians spend their vacation at a summer house in the south of France, but find a girl already staying there. Various power & sexual mind-games ensue & in the end it is the girl who turns out to be the "liberated" one. At the same time that Godard was filming young Parisian Maoists in "La Chinoise", Rohmer was filming the Parisian dandy hedonists in a similarly ambivalent (satirical?) way.Read more ›
My Night at Maud's is the stand-out film in the series but the others are excellent.
An young art dealer, Adrien, goes on holiday to a villa owned by a friend called Rodolphe. Staying there already are an artist he knows, Daniel, and a girl he doesn't, called Haydee...probably some kind of muse for the person who owns the house.
We mainly see from the male perspective. The narrative is told by Adrien, who has a high opinion of himself, and who regards Haydee as an "Amoral little sl*t"...He and Daniel play mind games with each other, about who will be first to sleep with her.
It seems both men are bewitched by her, despite themselves... but all she does is sit reading magazines and interject occasionally when they tease or berate her. The behaviour they regard as slutty, was that she kept leaving to go to town with a succession of young men, and they assumed she slept with them.
A film about Stockholm syndrome perhaps, and mind games through boredom. Adrien initially goes on holiday to find total peace, quiet and indolence...but his mind/ body leads him to another path, as much as he thinks he is in control.
Also... the artist, the art dealer (and the old collector Haydee and Adrien later meet) are seen to be as amoral as they regard Haydee, despite her lack of cultural capital. They believe themselves to be on a higher plain though. Cause they are pretentious d*cks!
My night with Maud
There's lot's of talk (well, it is Eric Rohmer), there's lots of sexual politics/ philosophy. But through meeting Maud, he is intoxicated, despite himself...and this feeling spills over into being more spontaneous with Francoise, who is a Catholic like him.
As someone older than the characters in the 60s film, who has passed up numerous chances, the film for me was bitter sweet.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Rohmer's films offer us a world of whimsical fascination and languor, which can be quite pleasant if one is in the mood. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Giles Penfold