Wednesday, January 4, 2012


John, I forgot to mention it, but I watched Rohmer's THE GIRL AT THE MONCEAU BAKERY and SUZANNE'S CAREER recently as well. I can't remember exactly, but I think you said that MONCEAU BAKERY is your favorite of his moral tales (correct me if I'm wrong). If this is so, I can absolutely see why. It certainly gets to the heart of what Rohmer is trying to do with his tales in a very concise amount of time. It's simultaneously a perfect summation of his ideas and a prelude to their further exploration. It's a great introduction to his work.

As with MY NIGHT AT MAUD's, I loved these two films and am really glad you gave them to me. I love that Rohmer is able to work off of nearly the same template for each film yet always make his characters and stories fascinating. My favorite thing about his work (based on these three selections from it) is how conscious and articulate he makes his characters; it always makes them human. His characters, like actual humans, invariably function in a world of ideas, principles, and language. They have freedom to choose between things, desires for certain things, and precepts according to which they make decisions. It always feels like a real person is communicating to, not just someone reciting a script. Rohmer is excellent at exploring what makes human beings tick. We never question why his characters do the things they do because we are always aware of the various layers of their humanity. Perhaps the greatest thing about Rohmer is that, though these are titled Moral Tales, he is less interested in supplying a moral as he is in examining how we live with morality. This way, he isn't so much a preacher as an observer and instigator for thought.

I've read some complaints of Rohmer's work that it is too analytic and talkative. Perhaps it's because I'm too overly analytic myself, but I've loved and really responded to all of the films I've seen of his. I guess I just don't understand the criticism.

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