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Author: Derek Schilling

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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Sam Rohdie

L’image n’est pas faite pour signifier, mais pour montrer … pour signifier, il existe un outil excellent, le langage parlé. ( Eric Rohmer ) 4 In a Rohmer film, characters project their desires upon what they see. They think that what they imagine is true because it is based on evidence. But what they see is

in Montage
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Derek Schilling

In a world where gun-slinging, pistol-packing men short on vocabulary and long on machismo have all but defined what it means to be a hero (and even a heroine), the characters whom Eric Rohmer has brought to the screen may come across as impossibly lightweight. Their sole arm for resolving disputes – ones which principally concern their own anxieties in the face of potential sentimental attachment

in Eric Rohmer
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Derek Schilling

Eric Rohmer was born Jean-Marie Maurice Schérer in 1920 in Tulle (Corrèze), a provincial backwater in south-western France, halfway between Bordeaux and Clermont-Ferrand. The fact that many sources give his birthplace as the north-eastern city of Nancy or furnish alternate dates of birth reflects the director’s onetime habit of leading those who would pry into his private affairs down false trails

in Eric Rohmer
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Derek Schilling

Upon release in September 2001 of Eric Rohmer’s twenty-third feature, the exquisite Revolutionary costume drama L’Anglaise et le Duc, the Parisian daily Le Figaro coyly asked its readers, ‘Faut-il guillotiner Rohmer?’ (Must Rohmer be guillotined?) (Macé-Scaron 2001 ). At age eighty-one, the reclusive director found himself in the glare of a spotlight he had long fled. That Rohmer, born Jean

in Eric Rohmer
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Derek Schilling

mores. The sole filmmaker of his generation in France to have consistently grouped his work by cycles, Eric Rohmer has arguably approached serial form in less conventional fashion than his peers. He has all but rejected the continuity provided by recurrent characters – nominally present in the Charlotte et Véronique cycle co-authored with Godard (1951–58) – in favour of shared thematic and dramatic

in Eric Rohmer
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Derek Schilling

, whatever its application. If, as Jean-Luc Godard – inverting an expression forged by Luc Moullet – famously remarked, ‘les travellings sont [une] affaire de morale’ (tracking shots are [a] moral affair), then it’s not unreasonable to say that Eric Rohmer is one of France’s most immoral directors. The cinema workers’ unions would probably agree, albeit for different reasons: rarely since Le Signe du Lion has Rohmer hired

in Eric Rohmer
Derek Schilling

: 26–30 . Braucourt , Guy ( 1976 ), ‘L’envie de me sentir vraiment metteur en scène’, Ecran 47, May: 19–23 . Chrétien de Troyes ( 1994 ), Romans, Paris , Librairie Générale Française . Dalle Vacche , Angela ( 1996 ), ‘Eric Rohmer’s The Marquise of O…: Painting Thoughts, Listening to Images’, Cinema and Painting: How Art is Used in Film, Austin , University of

in Eric Rohmer
Derek Schilling

When France’s leading postwar film critic, the wildly prolific André Bazin, fell ill with leukaemia in the late 1950s, he left in Eric Rohmer’s hands the editorship of Cahiers du cinéma, the internationally renowned journal he had founded in 1951 with Jacques Doniol-Valcroze and Jean-Marie Lo Duca. Two years Bazin’s junior, Rohmer was seen as his natural successor: an early contributor to the

in Eric Rohmer
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Derek Schilling
in Eric Rohmer