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The book aims to provide a balanced appraisal of Eric Rohmer's oeuvre in historical context. Although interpretation of individual films will not be its main objective, representative examples from the director's twenty-five features and fiction shorts will be presented throughout. The focus is on production history and reception in the mainstream French press. This key stylistic editing trait cannot be appreciated without reference to André Bazin's concept of ontological realism, of which Rohmer was a major exponent at Cahiers du cinéma. To establish the intertexts and artistic principles his films put into play, the book reviews the abundant critical writings Rohmer published in France from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. It explores how sound and image are configured, and to what effect. The book then broaches issues central to the director's finest work for the screen. 'Seriality and theme', devoted to the Contes moraux, Comédies et proverbes, and Contes des quatre saisons, looks at how Rohmer's decision to work by thematic series forces the viewer to intuit relations of complementarity, identity, and opposition that lend each cycle a complex, musical texture. It pays close attention to four of the director's costume films. The book concludes with a brief excursus on le rohmérien, that inimitable, instantly recognisable variant of the French language that spectators come to love or to hate.

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Derek Schilling

motifs. For all their formal rigour, his Contes moraux (1962–72), Comédies et proverbes (1981–87), and Contes des quatre saisons (1990–98) are unburdened by programmatic constraints of the kind that Krzysztof Kieslowski, a selfdeclared admirer of Rohmer, employs in his ten-part Dekalog (1988), inspired by the Holy Commandments (Amiel 1997 : 100). Rohmer’s series titles themselves are inviting and capacious: in place of the restrictive genres

in Eric Rohmer
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Derek Schilling

coherence. The six Contes moraux (Moral Tales, 1962–72), six Comédies et proverbes (Comedies and Proverbs, 1981–1987), and four Contes des quatre saisons (Tales of the Four Seasons, 1990–98), together with sketch films (4 Aventures de Reinette et Mirabelle, 1987), literary adaptations (Die Marquise von O…, 1976; Perceval le Gallois, 1979), and costume dramas (Triple agent, 2004) present a

in Eric Rohmer
The ‘screenplays’ of the New Wave auteurs
Sarah Leahy
and
Isabelle Vanderschelden

marginalised figure. He started writing and making short films before any of the other critics turned directors that he met through Paris cineclubs and at Cahiers du cinéma in the 1950s. From the late 1940s, while working as a teacher, he wrote literary prose texts which later formed the basis of the Six contes moraux / Six Moral Tales shot between 1962 to 1972. 30 In the preface to the literary texts

in Screenwriters in French cinema
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Derek Schilling

editor-in-chief. He had missed the crest of the New Wave by a good two years. Les Films du Losange and the 16mm Contes moraux Early commercial failure was perversely to enable long-term viability for Rohmer at the margins of the French motion picture industry. If he wished to continue directing, budgetary austerity and a keener sense of subject matter were clearly in order (Williams 1992 : 376). As

in Eric Rohmer
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Derek Schilling

auteurism further than most, creating cycles that endlessly rearrange basic motifs in patterns both familiar and unique. While any given series instalment may fall short of what most cinema-goers construe as ‘greatness’ – a threshold attained perhaps only in Ma Nuit chez Maud –, what matters ultimately is its place in an interlocking whole. Consequently, the Contes moraux, Comédies et proverbes, or Contes des quatre saisons

in Eric Rohmer
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Derek Schilling

(see figure 3 ), or in the sidewalk scenes of L’Amour l’aprèsmidi , all but disappear in work after the Contes moraux , like an item of clothing gone out of fashion or a newfangled toy that restricts the imagination instead of stimulating it. The director’s point in privileging the 50mm lens is not to efface the traces of the camera – a task that the frame and the splice make impossible – but to instate a comfortable

in Eric Rohmer
Derek Schilling

– Marxism and psychoanalysis – in the name of ideology critique. Conclusion After his split with Cahiers in 1963, Rohmer turned to full-time direction, working on his Contes moraux cycle and preparing documentaries for French television. While he was not to return to regular film criticism thereafter – the 1972 thesis on the uses of space and movement in Murnau’s Faust is an

in Eric Rohmer
Guy Austin

, 1970) and L’Amour l’après-midi ( Love in the Afternoon , 1972), the series was considered by Rohmer to constitute variations on a single theme: in each film, a man pursuing one woman inadvertently comes across another before finally returning to the first. But unlike the récit form, the ‘Contes moraux’ do not present authoritative male narrators. Although based on Rohmer’s own first-person, male

in Contemporary French cinema
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Screening France’s new towns after 1968
Derek Schilling

context helps to explain why the two features Rohmer shot in the villes nouvelles of greater Paris procure such a seamless period representation of contemporary society even as they recall the high comedy of Marivaux and Courteline. Rohmer was, if not destined for, then at least particularly well suited to, the task. Beginning with the six Contes moraux (1961–71) he had tracked the evolution of the modern French couple, with a nearly exclusive focus on men and women in their 20s and 30s in search of a partner. Second, his use of real locations for exteriors and

in Screening the Paris suburbs