April 9, 2011

I first heard about Eric Rohmer when I read last year about a retrospective of his work taking place at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Rohmer was a central figure in the French New Wave, but the last of the directors involved in the movement to gain serious critical acclaim. Like I often do, I flaked on checking out his films at the time, but have since made it a point to catch a few of them on Netflix. And to be honest, the two I’ve seen, My Night at Maud’s and Claire’s Knee, are two of the best movies I’ve watched in a very long time. Perhaps it’s because they play to my mood, or what I perceive to be my mood: mellow, slow and prone to romanticizing seemingly insignificant details. Rohmer’s films are dialogue-driven, which I appreciate, and they’re smart. His characters engage in a moral struggle between virtue and honesty and their innate physical and sexual impulses. And the dude casts some truly beautiful women. I’m afraid to know how old the chick that played Claire in Claire’s Knee was. All that aside, watch one, if not both of these movies. Yea, they have subtitles, and yea, they might require some patience, but chill out on the couch one afternoon and enjoy.

Claire’s Knee

My Night At Maud’s