Eric Rohmer

Eric Rohmer was a French film director, film critic, journalist, novelist, screenwriter and teacher. Rohmer was the last of the post-World War II French New Wave directors to become established. He edited the influential film journal Cahiers du cinéma, from 1957 to 1963, while most of his colleagues – among them Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut – were making the transition from film critics to filmmakers and gaining international attention. Rohmer gained acclaim in 1969 for his greatest film My Night at Maud’s (1969), which was nominated for an Academy Award. He later won the San Sebastian International Film Festival with his equally brilliant Claire’s Knee in 1971 and the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for The Green Ray in 1986. Eric Rohmer has been always looked at as a man who was a creator of dialogue in which his stories always focused around talk. He always preferred characters to engage in long philosophical, political and theological conversations, all which explored the feelings, thoughts, ideas and ideologies between a man and woman rather than depicting physical actions. He was known to be an extremely literary man and so many of his films frequently referred to philosophical themes in plays and novels, such as references to Jules Verne, William Shakespeare and Pascal’s Wager. Rohmer was also a lover of sexual youth, a teller of tales and some kind of existential moralist. His brilliant Six Moral Tales, my favorite being La Collectionneuse (1967), feel less as stories about the morals of a character and more the simple everyday choices and decisions that they constantly struggle with. Rohmer had each moral tale practically follow the same story: a man, married or otherwise committed to a woman, is tempted by a second woman but eventually returns to the first woman. Rohmer was a unique visual artist who made several different series of films like the six Comedies and Proverbs and his Tales of the Four Seasons, along with 11 films outside those categories. He creates what many consider to be ‘philosophical cinema’ in which the story isn’t focused on a large drama but more smaller, mundane, everyday things like what certain characters may think, feel and what characters may say and do. His films can be looked upon as a slight study on behavior, sex, desires, needs, motivations and simple human nature; which are usually through the perception of characters who are middle class and university educated. Rohmer once stated that he wanted to look at “thoughts rather than actions”, dealing “less with what people do than what is going on in their minds while they are doing it.”

Eric Rohmer
Eric Rohmer Featured Films
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Articles and Essays on Eric Rohmer

My Night at Maud’s (1969)

Eric Rohmer’s gentle and touching film My Night at Maud’s is one of his most important and poignant works that underly such themes as faith, marriage, infidelity, philosophy, religion, literature, love, fate, and sex. Like Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Claude Chabrol, and Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer was a critic to the magazine ‘Cahiers du cinema’and helped […]