Programme

Eric Rohmer’s Comedies and Proverbs

Forever Young. With a remarkably persistent preoccupation with youthful subjects throughout his career, Eric Rohmer’s (1920-2010) […] Read more

Forever Young. With a remarkably persistent preoccupation with youthful subjects throughout his career, Eric Rohmer’s (1920-2010) films have been consistently refreshing, sophisticated, amusing, and ageless. Following the prelude of “Six Moral Tales” in 2019, the French master is again celebrated in this commemorative programme featuring eight of his acclaimed works in the 1980s, reflecting the progressive changes of independent young women who are no longer living under the first-person narration of men.

Continued to be fascinated by the romantic entanglements and emotional adventures of young women even in his 60s, Rohmer’s “Comedies and Proverbs” series brings together six of his best. Beginning with a proverb, each film satirically reflects the paradox of his heroines – either dissatisfied with being single or current relationships; or perplexed about destiny, fidelity or freedom. In whimsical spontaneity, his casually sensuous dramas offer a polyphony of ideas contemplating the intriguing feminine thoughts, interweaving romance with socio-economic differences, while underlining the fluidity of modern life.

Unlike the Cinderella plot of Hollywood, the Rohmerian romantic comedies are fables that are revelatory of the dilemma of love and ambiguities of life. Under the closely observed, highly realist setting, there is a depth of passionate empathy behind his delicate portraits of heroines who form a different philosophy of love – Louise’s indulgence in her own illusion in Full Moon in Paris (1984); Delphine’s stubborn insistence on her fate in The Green Ray (1986); Sabine’s humiliation resulting from her own obsession in A Good Marriage (1982). Often faced with an agony of choice, they try and make sense of their own lives and desires, with no guarantee of a happy ending – and indeed, many of his characters end up in confusion and solitude for holding up their own conviction. Yet, it is this conviction that gives Rohmer’s cinema its transcendental idealism, distinctive vision, and above all, evergreen enchantment.

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