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Eric Rohmer – Six Moral Tales – Claire’s Knee [1970]

[1] Eric’s Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales

Short reviews of all six films

[2] Claire’s Knee

post from

Film blog : Eyes in the Dark

[3] Claire’s Knee


Daniel Hayes

“The meaning of contes moreaux is somewhat lost in its common English translation “moral tales”. Instead of a more religious definition, Rohmer says that “a moraliste is someone who is interested in the description of what goes on inside man… they are people who like to bring their motives, the reasons for their actions, into the open.” (1) There was also a very pragmatic reason for pre-defining the major themes of a series of films as it wouldn’t allow for producers to push for more populist subject matter (2). But perhaps the main reason for such an endeavour was to be able to focus on refining and experimenting with technique, building on the success of each previous film.”

February 15, 2011 Posted by | contes moreaux, Eric Rohmer, Moral Tales | Leave a comment

FILM DIRECTOR Eric Rohmer 1920 – 2010

The Rohmer post that appeals to me most so far – there are an awful lot of them – is Jim Emerson’s,

“I saw a Rohmer film once…”: The truth behind the Night Moves meme,  11 January 2010. 

And, yes, I saw Night Moves and loved it. It was on British TV again not too long ago. You know that feeling of pleasure when you only realise a bit in to a film [been on a while, missed the beginning….] that you have seen it before – and suddenly remember how much you enjoyed it the first time.

It wasn’t just because Jim managed to find Rohmer meta-film. Well, they all seem to be playing with that one. He quotes a certain Jaime N. Christley at the bottom of his post:

……But I wasn’t incensed by “Night Moves” so much as annoyed by those who picked up the line and waved it about as their only response to Rohmer’s passing.

Lighten up Jaime – or should that be Jamie (J’aime?) This is Jaime’s Rohmer post. Jaime claims to have started up the Night Moves/Rohmer meme in Twitter. What did you do that for Jaime?

Twitter to me is not – of course it’s not – where one watches paint drying but examines someone picking a scab when already told by everyone to stop or else there will be a scar. If you have a pithy clever comment about something or someone write a blog post, for Chris’s sake and let it go. Someone will find it one day.

Jim embedded in his post on Rohmer a French interview with Rohmer from a series Cine TVO (Ontario) Parlons Cinema. Asked about the Harry Moseby dialogue in Night Moves he says he hasn’t seen the film, but understands the point. His films, he says, are about conversations. He then goes on to say:

But you can watch Le Rayon Vert (The Green Ray) three times and you are still saying to yourself, “I hate this girl and can’t see what she is so upset about.” (On repeated watching I became more sympathetic as I saw her as exhibiting classic depression symptoms. The point being that the other characters in the main had no idea what her mental state was, despite all the conversations.)

Although I feel I fall between the two camps – not an ordinary viewer: neither a connoisseur in the fullest sense of the term – I can appreciate a film like Bresson’s Au Hazard Bathazar but not have a comfortable viewing experience because of the use of amateur actors. This is how I feel about the feel of many of Rohmer’s films. There is a contradiction which I have not resolved: Rohmer talks of the difference between making a film about a recent news events (which he is not interested in) and his type of film which is always a conversation. And yet his films are staged and acted to seem like a slice-of-life, with the ennuies and imbecilities, when they are fictions acted in the most part my professional actors. The design of Rohmer’s films are much as if one were to be pulled by the hand to a certain spot on the corner of a street in some town or other to watch something. The fact that the medium is film is only important in that there is this marvellous reproducibility: everyone can be dragged to that street corner. You can’t do that with a book. Well, you can, but not as well.

January 15, 2010 Posted by | Eric Rohmer, film directors, film [its techniques], meta-film, Robert Bresson | , , , , | Leave a comment