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The Sign of Rohmer

The theme of male apprehension either transcended or succumbed to, but always deconstructed, is at the jazzily dendritic core of the “Moral Tales.”

The Sign of Rohmer
Photo: The Kobal Collection

I was out with friends a few months ago in a small bar on the northern cusp of San Francisco’s Castro District. A middle-class, wood- and glass-adorned affair vaguely redolent of the neighborhood’s frontier heritage, the bar facilitated an atmosphere gregarious enough to encourage my occasionally dive-skittish patronage, though the noise level, even past 10 on a weeknight, effectively curtailed anything beyond the judiciously pithy conversation one might find on Twitter. It was, in other words, an evening of summary judgments and blurby, Robert Christgau-esque opprobrium. So I was unsurprised to hear myself offer a somewhat backhanded defense of My Night at Maud’s, which had come up in contrast to salvos from the French New Wave’s more splashy enfants terribles. “Maud fits my personality,” I said, lazily wiping sweat from my glass of ale. “It’s wry, effete, and all the sex is theoretical.”

Like all generalizing bon mots, of course, this is an embarrassingly surface-caressing assessment, and attempting to apply it to the remainder of director Éric Rohmer’s oeuvre proves it inutile, particularly in light of the gender-manipulative ferocity of the “Comedies and Proverbs” cycle. True, the dry humor involved in the Gandhi-like testing of Jean-Louis’s (Jean-Louis Trintignant) Catholic intellectualism by the neo-materialist goddess Maud (Françoise Fabian) is one of the film’s most accessible pleasures. But to shrug off the heady expository poetry of the dialogue and the talking-head, winter-cloister mise-en-scène as impotent—even if purposefully so—seems in agreement with those who find Rohmer insufferably tedious, or who inaccurately assume Jean-Louis is an autobiographical construct. And—even overlooking the fact that Jean-Louis has a child by his ideal female Françoise by the denouement—isn’t all sex, in a sense, theoretical, an act that burns as palpably in the mind and on the page as in the moist, messy reality?

My half-errors should betray just how uncomfortably close I am to Rohmer’s aesthetic and to how much probing self-reflection is necessitated by the act of witnessing a “boring” gab-fest like My Night at Maud’s. I first watched the “Moral Tales,” still Rohmer’s most applauded hexology, after discovering Criterion’s Region 1 release at a video store in 2006. I was despondently unemployed at the time and ensnared in a clumsy, unfulfilling domestic partnership teetering nauseously on the brink of matrimony; I had, like Jean-Louis with the impractical religion he had been born into and “kept up,” convinced myself of the partnership’s indispensible value through a series of rhetorical exercises and absurd syllogisms that were, truthfully, more stimulating than the love affair itself. And while My Night at Maud’s, and the remainder of the “Moral Tales,” failed to rescue me from the vortex of my own warped logic, it somehow suggested that my anxiously critical social perspective was hardly singular, or even damning. The scene where Jean-Louis meets a professor friend by chance in a café and then proceeds to ponder the exact probability of their paths crossing seemed like a warm, inviting transmission cutting through a glacially reticent universe. That Jean-Louis should approach Françoise with such charmingly jittery resolve was even hopeful (perhaps my quirky, inner lothario simply hadn’t yet found its muse?).

Admittedly, however, Shakespeare has a much better ground-level synopsis of the distinctive masculine philosophy of the “Moral Tales.” Hamlet, who could have easily been a Rohmer protagonist, at one juncture scolds himself for his tendency to scrupulously plan rather than hot-bloodedly act despite the infuriatingly filial ramifications of Claudius’s transgressions. But, he considers, man’s capacity for ratiocination must contain some self-preserving mechanism, ergo our propensity for “thinking too precisely on the event, a thought which, quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom, and ever three parts coward.” Within this immortally meta example of over-thinking the behavior of over-thinking it’s almost as if the melancholy Dane had been, like Jean-Louis, “dabbling in mathematics.” But it’s the recognition of hyper-analysis as a subconscious, aegis-molding extension of cowardice that resonates with Rohmer’s wit most uncannily.

This is, after all, an idea central to the skewed morality of the so-called “Moral Tales,” most of which involve one man, two women, and a protracted deliberation (who says you need a girl and a gun to make movies?). My Night at Maud’s propounds this complex psychological gnarl most eloquently via the eschatological stakes of Pascal’s Wager, which, in Jean-Louis’s estimation, become an unspoken metaphor for the unrewarding perils of straying from the righteous path. But when Jean-Louis is forced, at the film’s end, to misrepresent what transpired under Maud’s fluffy fur comforter in the coldest hour of that fateful Paris December, the scales of the wager are, for me, violently overturned, its theological and sexual applications collapsing meekly like dominoes. Muliebrity is Rohmer’s deity, and the difficulties of human communication are his enlightenment-obscuring dogma; whether interpreted for use in religion or relations, Pascal’s Wager illustrates the danger of using logic to intimidate one’s self into complacent submission. While Jean-Louis wins his woman, it’s only through acknowledging the stultifying inanity of that fear—an epiphany that, as with those of Rohmer’s most accomplished films, is self-enriching only because it is self-defeating.

The theme of male apprehension either transcended or succumbed to, but always deconstructed, is at the jazzily dendritic core of the “Moral Tales,” from the opening shorts The Bakery Girl of Monceau and Suzanne’s Career made in the mid ‘60s, to the cycle’s final, sobbing breakdown in 1972. La Collectioneuse dotes upon the hesitant attraction of main character Adrien (Patrick Bauchau) toward sexily ripening housemate Haydée (Haydée Politoff) with the same languid opulence it observes the Mediterranean country side. In Claire’s Knee, the subtly erotic desire to touch the titular teenage appendage must be sublimated in Néstor Almendros’s verdantly placid rendering of the Lake Annecy shoreline and in the painstaking precision of protagonist Jerome’s (Jean-Claude Brialy) scheme to fulfill his lightly untoward, Seymour Glass-like fantasy. Similarly, the soft-spoken Frédéric (Bernard Verley) of Chloé in the Afternoon identifies the importance of feeling auras of seduction all about him in the world as he effortlessly controls himself for the sake of a disillusioned marriage; in an interlude that seems eerily plucked from my own perversely subdued erotic dreams, he imagines himself with a female-manipulating amulet, and one-by-one he responds to the bodily surrender of actresses from the preceding “Moral Tales” with chaste propriety.

Both Pauline Kael and Molly Haskell have noted the persistence of the male gaze in Rohmer’s work, but, perhaps being women, however perspicacious, they neglect the additional dimension of doubt and bewilderment confounding his compartmentalization of lust. Nary a supple bottom or striking visage appears without the question of why such arbitrary appearances should drive a civilized man to distraction. And rather than a fable recounting a man of nebbish repute’s “tempting” by a liberated woman, My Night at Maud’s instead concerns Jean-Louis’s internal grappling with the casual permissiveness of two intelligent gals who are fascinated by his angst—when they don’t find it endearingly silly. Even the most titillating sequence in Rohmer’s entire catalog exudes pregnant nervousness: As Frédéric towels off the daintily pale lumbar region of the freshly showered Chloé (Zouzou), we sense an onslaught of inner tremors. Dividing the calm distinctions between dialectical forces is essential to appreciating Rohmer’s anthropological trenchancy and, even in his later films, to experience sexual arousal is to have a spirited argument with one’s self.

It’s a sentiment that this man, at the very least, can sympathize with, particularly because Rohmer’s mouthpieces are of the variety that troll bookstores for dusty texts while hoping to bump into the objects of their obsession, and that shop for turtlenecks with the calibrated exactitude of a painter selecting a dim shade of red for a lip shadow. It hardly matters when considering the unique effects of these darling, dramatic inventions, but I often rhetorically ask, especially when in the midst of the “Moral Tales,” how closely such predilections and anxieties resemble those of Rohmer himself. No thorough biographies have been written on the director in English; he was intensely private, using a nom de plume for both his critical career and his film credits. But testimony suggests an artist compelled by utter dedication to the process of realizing a personal vision—a love that almost certainly dwarfed the formidable one he had for movies. This is a director who successfully predicted, through strenuous study, the precise meteorological moment at which a mood-enhancing snow would fall upon Paris for a key exterior café shot in My Night at Maud’s; later, he waited a year to procure satisfactory footage of the infamous “green ray” for Summer. Is it such a stretch to envision splatter-art adorning his office walls beside year-end-earning charts as they do in Frédéric’s?

My intuited conception of Rohmer pairs the nearly paralyzing intellect and knotty woman-worship of the “Moral Tales” with a graceful self-awareness that would have kept him from languishing in the serio-comedic immaturity of his characters. (Isn’t it common practice for authors to populate their fiction with people who are just barely beneath them?) I have consciously fabricated this Rohmer out of pieces of available evidence partially as an instructive ideal; his success in spite of the ineptitudes and quiet impulses I might have shared with him provides a consoling roadmap to conquering the infernal mechanics of life. No other director has understood more visibly how the big picture of the human condition is played out in miniscule, if often agonizing, day-to-day details, and the manner in which those seemingly meaningless interactions and perfunctory choices snowball into the foundation of our collective experience. There’s a reason that Rohmer’s work, aside from his occasional period detours, lacks the pumped action and histrionics that have, for better or more often worse, become synonymous with cinema today; without the mocked-up tension of extraordinary circumstances, we feel the shifts in his films’ rhythms almost as intensely as if we were living them.

Interestingly, I’ve discovered in my research for this piece that Rohmer and I share more than a doggedly analytical outlook. Some of the symmetries are superficial: According to at least two sources, we were both born on March 20th, albeit 64 years apart (his date of birth is alternatively listed as March 21st and April 4th), and he began his career in film as a writer and critic (the “Moral Tales” were first authored as a series of novellas while Rohmer was editing a ragtag team of nascent buffs including Truffaut, Godard, Chabrol, and Rivette at the famous Cahiers du Cinéma). Other commonalities, however, are far more piquantly intimate. In one of his most prescriptive essays, “For a Talking Cinema” (a work that, to my mind, should be more inspiring than any writings on the certain tendencies of the French), he champions the use of diegetic sound and dialogue in movies as a manner of moving beyond the sensory to the cerebral, a plateau few had reached in his eyes, or ears, since the advent of sonic technology in the late ‘20s.

With this in mind he extols the timbre-conscious virtues of The Magnificent Ambersons above the radio-oriented hubris of Citizen Kane (to which I can only add “hear, hear,” quite literally). He also cites as a crucial example of the true “talky” my favorite American director, Preston Sturges, whose influence on Rohmer’s early cinematic attempts is undeniable. Both the shorts Veronica and her Dunce and All the Boys are Named Patrick (the latter written by Rohmer but directed by Godard) tap into the crisply funny nuance of street vernacular, while his feature-length debut The Sign of Leo—featuring a jaunty rags-to-riches-to-rags plot and a hilarious cameo by a harried Godard—is something of a cross between Sullivan’s Travels and Renoir’s Boudu Saved from Drowning. Interestingly, none of these incunabulum suggest the signature visual tenderness and mental focus that would follow in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but The Sign of Leo displays a startling knack for sneering punch lines, many of them likely penned by co-writer Paul Gégauff (a representative exchange: “Is that beggar playing Bartok?” “No, he’s just out of tune.” “Well, it’s modern at any rate.”)

The box office failure of The Sign of Leo has condemned it to foot-noteworthiness in studies of French New Wave, though the sharp formal differences between that film and The 400 Blows, from later in 1959, are somewhat indicative of the ponderous divide between Rohmer and his Cahiers cohorts that would prove career-long. Rohmer stood apart from Godard and Truffaut in several ways (he was 10 years their senior, for one, and an editor rather than a critical peer), but perhaps most critically, his filmmaking style only tangentially incorporates interaction with other cinematic and pop-culture objects, a practice with which the most celebrated New Wavers arguably built their reputations. Breathless was a cut-up heist flick dedicated to Monogram Studios; Jules and Jim was a frothy, boho, CinemaScope three-way where a dangerous brand of love could catch you at the Studio des Ursulines theater. The Barbet Schroeder-produced “Moral Tales,” while international hits to a degree, were subdued think pieces shot tendentiously in a claustrophobic aspect ratio (as, remarkably, nearly all of Rohmer’s films are) with Almendros’s patient color gradients rather than Raoul Coutard’s flickering reverie palette.

This is not to say that copious allusions to Rohmer’s masters don’t clandestinely litter the tales; Hitchcock, whom Rohmer co-wrote a book about, receives several nods. Frédéric brusquely sprints down a narrow staircase to avoid disaster while we observe from above, our teeth chattering. And the final coast-set scene of My Night at Maud’s features a innocently devastating pan-reveal; after noticing the freshly sea-bathed Maud, the camera moves with Jean-Louis’s gaze to the incestuous fidgeting of his blond, Catholic wife, and for the last time begrudgingly observes the triumph of the earthy over the ethereal. But the engine that propels Rohmer’s films, if they can withstand such muscle-y metaphors, is not a reflexive adoration of their own art form, or a toothy zeal to shatter its grammatical canon and wave a brazen “everything is cinema” banner in its place (is this why so few directors have cited him as their central inspiration?). Rohmer, rather, seems drawn chiefly to modes of self-expression for their own sake, with film as the ultimate medium due to its fusion of the visual, the aural, and textual. To Rohmer the movies are, in other words, simply the most efficacious manner of exploring personal ideas—about philosophy, about history, about human interaction. And his thoughts are all the better for being seemingly rooted in the magisteria of flesh, tears, and talk rather than that of celluloid, splices, and boom mics.

David Thomson’s biographical entry on Rohmer processes this attribute by proclaiming him a “director from the 18th century”—a fair glossing, given the filmmaker’s self-professed admiration for Enlightenment-era thinkers, though it carries an imperious sting, as if Rohmer were an artist hopelessly out of time and touch whose stories would have been actualized no less vividly as novels. This reading also dismally overlooks Rohmer’s mastery of invisible craftsmanship, proof of which rests in his punctiliously deliberate choice of film stock and 1.37:1 framing, his nimbly medium-wide, axis-massaging angles, and his unhurried cutting pace. (As Susan Sontag observed, to confuse an unostentatious style for the lack of one is to fatuously render the already dubious term “style” useless.)

And rather than reeking of the past, Rohmer’s historical acumen transforms the sharp values and haunting inquiries of philosophers two centuries previous through subtly postmodern alchemy. He is an unsung 20th-century surrogate for Kant and Hume, perpetually speculating how their whims and axioms might be revived through quotidian reenactment. Even his putatively straight-forward period dramas bear subcutaneous marks of post-‘50s, death-of-the-author frenzy: The obstetric chamber anguish of The Marquise of O… and the cardboard cut-out solemnity of Perceval le Gallois, both from the late ‘70s, manage to squeeze large worlds onto tiny sets with plastic irony; the funky, questionable politics of 2002’s The Lady and the Duke are sketched with 2D digitalism; The Romance of Astreé and Céladon, from 2007, is a painterly, druid-bound compromise of a valediction.

Thomson’s mini-bio blunders further with its uninformed rejection of the entirety of Rohmer’s post-‘70s corpus, an editorial decision that likely says more about the incompleteness of the critic’s relationship with Rohmer than anything else. But the director’s partisans, myself among them, can’t help but scowl at the missed opportunity on these pages of Thomson’s usually stellar and meticulously researched dictionary. The smarting wit and striking milieus of Rohmer’s more accessible works (including the “Comedies and Proverbs”) have influenced brief pockets of international movie brilliance before; it’s hard to resist navigating Woody Allen’s thematically monotone career without him in mind, and both Whit Stillman and Noah Baumbach have fully admitted to being under the spell of the director’s first two cycles. But since Rohmer’s passing, his films have ceased to become immediately impressive “news” in whatever modest sense they once were; aside from a diminutive band of bloggers willing to pirate the undistributed output of this 20th-century auteur, he has few champions. And regardless of my affection for the “Moral Tales,” claiming them the end-all, be-all of Rohmer’s career is unlikely to inspire a renaissance of interest.

Before pointing too punitive a finger at Thomson, however, who is America’s most laudably language-conscious film critic, I must hoist myself upon my own petard and assess Rohmer’s final cycle, the “Tales of the Four Seasons,” as a comparatively ineffectual quartet. Often concerning the leathery blossom of mature romanticism, their quietude and honeyed hues seem turgid beside the delicate heartbreak of Chloé in the Afternoon; Rohmer even widened his framing stance to 1.66:1 for the two least interesting entries. Only the hot-tipped, triangular sex of Summer’s Tale, with its numbers-as-euphony-minded main character, recalls Rohmer’s heyday, though the cautious conversations between widow-vineyard owner Magali (Béatrice Romand) and burbly confidant Isabelle (Marie Rivière, again in top form) in Autumn’s Tale beautifully mimic the smooth, twisty crawl of the former’s grapevines. Far more pleasurably representative of the filmmaker’s mentally peripatetic élan is the non-cyclical The Tree, the Mayor, and the Médiathèque from 1993, an extended Socratic dialogue on the tender aesthetics of Lomax-like environmentalism with a grinningly furry performance from Fabrice Luchini as the most crowd-pleasingly polemical of Jean-Louis’ descendents. But as so much of Rohmer’s trajectory seems designed to accompany and abet my own sexual-intellectual gestation with empathic tough-love, I have to speculate if I have yet to reach the age where I can meet the “Tales of the Four Seasons” more than simply halfway.

This hypothesis of casual ageism is more than a flippant, self-defensive inkling. As with Truffaut and especially Godard, Rohmer’s releases in the 1980s were among his tightest-constructed and most maturely articulated—and yet they have far fewer defenders than art-house warhorses like Vivre Sa Vie and Claire’s Knee. This is somewhat due to the same issues of accessibility and awareness that likely prompted Thomson’s dismissal of the post-“Moral Tales” works, yet I can’t help but blame these sins of the film buff populous on a widespread lack of receptiveness towards the mellowing, metabasis-prone eccentricities of middle age. First Name: Carmen and The Aviator’s Wife might very well be the apexes of their respective director’s cinematic ethos, but their incisiveness is purposefully dulled by slyly balanced, backwards-thrown glances that seem afraid of disintegrating their projects into saline pillars. The Brechtian cue-carding in Godard’s portrayal of the has-been malcontent filmmaker in First Name: Carmen is a smarmily showy example. For the ever-cagey Rohmer, however, the entirety of the “Comedies and Proverbs” cycle is a surreptitious commentary on, among other things, the cracked, inert machismo of the “Moral Tales,” and a twinkling promulgation of late-adulthood as the point at which the stodgily parallel lines of gender attitudes finally intersect.

It would be reductive to categorize the aphorism-toting “Comedies and Proverbs” as the yonic answer to the quivering, deflated phallus of the “Moral Tales” and nothing more. But where the sparring dialectic of Rohmer’s earlier films so often involved the needs of ascetic, wishy-washy ids and the dour reflections of overactive egos, the “Comedies and Proverbs” takes us out of the shrunken, pliant detritus of the male brain and into the foggy thick of fitful romantic ennui. Most of the protagonists are women, or reside in a universe governed by stark, vaginal caprice; in one sense, The Aviator’s Wife consists of a dopey nonentity of a postboy, François (Philippe Marlaud), being prodded through a playbook of manipulative sexual gestures. And yet from off this 24-hour assembly line of shrewd, wide-eyed coyness emerges Rohmer’s most astounding film, a scrapbook of sultry apartment blues and jovial lake greens set to a soundtrack of constantly engaging, constantly negating flirt-speak. As the sobering finale exfoliates the last of François’s foolhardy confidence with women, it’s as though Rohmer is slapping us, and himself, across the face for identifying with the oneiric brain crush of Jean-Louis.

Summer (or, among irascible polyglots, The Green Ray) is considered by many to be the cycle’s centerpiece, and it undulates with the most persuasive, albeit anomalous, charm. Marie Rivière, who also plays the most brutally instructive character in The Aviator’s Wife, concocts Delphine as an immaculately feminine mirror image of Jean-Louis’s narrative control. She’s a clinking-clanking, soliloquy-prone vegetarian who can’t own up to the frozen suspension her inwardly rigid, outwardly flighty credo facilitates; eventually, she must invent out of nothing an exit strategy from sensual boredom using the dying sun’s green ray as an objective correlative. But inhabiting the desultory grace of the female psyche came at a price for Rohmer; he allowed the staggering histrionics of Rivière more freedom than he’d offered any other actor (Trintignant described in an interview how he was forced to even recite mannered, nonsensical vowel sounds from the My Night at Maud’s script). As a result the film appears more a collaboration of dizzying fecundity than a proud, proper member of the Rohmer canon (Rivière is even given a writing credit), and is thus less useful to my admittedly hagiographic argument. Fascinatingly, one senses that the director felt similarly; his non-cyclical production from the following year, Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle, essentially explores identical themes of womanly kinship and suburban disappointment with more structured whimsy and less scenario-dominating actresses.

Within the remaining entries in the cycle, Rohmer often alights the top of his self-deprecating game with snarling aplomb; the ideals he’d converted female types into during the last two decades are resisted by their skin-and-bone vessels with puissance, and they eventually win the rhetorical skirmish. Even Pauline Kael noted how Almendros’s gradually roving camera couldn’t properly fetishize the snugly swimsuit-ensconced preteen rump of Pauline at the Beach’s title character. And when an older womanizer plants kisses on Pauline’s nymphet legs, she double-kicks his chest out of her comfort zone and, seemingly, into the honest if off-kilter chivalry of Claire’s Knee. Both this and the dissection of conjugal bliss as a predestined goal that develops, however incipiently, with the gonads in Le Beau Mariage applaud women who maximize the benefit of their otherness; in Rohmer’s world, both sexes are equally befuddled and frustrated, but adamantly clasp an awareness of their influence on that befuddlement within the opposite gender. There’s a thin razor hiding in Pauline’s smile. She knows, even as she becomes weepily embroiled in the politics of her aunt’s desperate divorcée decadence, that she will only have her automatic pick of suitors for so long; after that comes the smoldering, clawing decline and reckless sexual hegemony epitomized by the macguffin mystery in The Aviator’s Wife.

This buoyant, boy-crazy bitterness is what makes the sixth of the “Comedies and Proverbs,” Boyfriends and Girlfriends, such a balmy farewell to Rohmer’s most rewarding period. The Shakespearean lover-swapping and admire/admonish relationship between the blond, timid Blanche (Emmanuelle Chaulet) and the tan, scrappy chick-of-the-world Lea (Sophie Renoir) is ironically an emblem of the director’s staggering growth. Who else could fashion a film so slight and yet so necessary? It’s not surprising that Whit Stillman created a near-facsimile of the bumpily brainy dynamic between the two young ladies, and their clueless but worthy beaus, for his unfairly maligned masterpiece Last Days of Disco.

Boyfriends and Girlfriends is a portrait of twentysomething unkemptness, a paean to the clumsy transition from teenage overreaction to adult compromise filtered through the gracious attentiveness of a septuagenarian with unflappable memory. Even the interiors represent rebirth: Blanche’s pale tomb of an apartment vibrantly blossoms a guilty rouge after her seducing of Lea’s on-again, off-again boy toy. And in a smirking, highly didactic nod to the schism between the “Comedies and Proverbs” and Rohmer’s first cycle, one character bemoans his inferiority “not morally, but physically.” The “Comedies and Proverbs” affix the autumnal intellect of the “Moral Tales” to Elizabethan errors of corporeal l’amour, a juxtaposition that gives both attributes sinews of verisimilitude and gravity; if My Night at Maud’s is a lyrically fictionalized essay, both The Aviator’s Wife and Boyfriends and Girlfriends are formative experiences plucked from the fray of life and saturated with sense-providing, color-coordinated drama.

The ending sequence of Boyfriends and Girlfriends shows Rohmer at his most fraternity-affirming. Blanche and Lea half-apologize to one another for their dalliances, working each other up into a hissy confusion just short of explosion until realizing that they’ve unintentionally freed one another from past obligations and can happily entrap the men they truly, maturely desire rather than the ones they’ve pined for at a Chekovian distance. The content-for-ever-after closing is thus not without the suggestion of an incommunicative continuum; there will be further horn-locking, further self-doubt, further self-searching, but all with the acknowledgement that the germ of existence resides within this endlessly neurotic, neural grind. And this truism is all but evident in the process-driven art of a director like Rohmer, who in one sense explored but a handful of themes across nearly thirty feature-length films without flagging. There is no other filmmaker for whom movies are “essays” in the most French sense of the term—attempts at coherence that must be reiterated in variations if meaning is to be achieved. There is no other filmmaker who more successfully infused the loquaciously verbal with its unagitated visual counterpart. There is no other filmmaker whose work has so often metamorphosed my living room into a secular temple from which I emerge baptized in clarity, with dense, oily droplets of patterned angst-language and feminine beatification clinging to my brow.

Presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, “The Sign of Rohmer” (August 18 to September 3) is the most complete North American retrospective of Rohmer’s work in more than a decade, including all of his feature films and the U.S. premiere of his 1980 TV film Catherine de Heilbronn. For more information click here.

“Tell the truth but tell it slant”
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