A bombastic, womanizing art dealer and his painter friend go to a seventeenth-century villa on the Riviera for a relaxing summer getaway. But their idyll is disturbed by the presence of the bohemian Haydée, accused of being a “collector” of men. Rohmer’s first color film, La collectionneuse pushes the Moral Tales into new, darker realms. Yet it is also a grand showcase for the clever and delectably ironic battle-of-the-sexes repartee (in a witty script written by Rohmer and the three main actors) and luscious, effortless Néstor Almendros photography that would define the remainder of the series. —The Criterion Collection
The most subtle and traditional of the many luminaries launched to prominence as a member of the French New Wave, Eric Rohmer is also among the movement’s most consistent and enduring talents. Basing his work upon antecedents in literature as much as those in the cinema, Rohmer made his name crafting talky, feather-light romantic comedies and chamber dramas distinguished by economical camerawork, a warmly ironic tone, an affection for youth, and a fascination with place and time. His intensely personal private life — according to legend, not even his own mother knew he was an internationally acclaimed, albeit pseudonymously named, filmmaker — has stood in direct contrast to the emotional openness of his movies, which, in intimate and illuminating detail, explore the limitless entanglements, disappointments, and possibilities facing contemporary relationships.
Born Jean-Marie Maurice Scherer on December 1, 1920, in Nancy, France, Rohmer later relocated to Paris, where he worked variously… read more
This film tested my limits, particularly in respect to the way in which Haydée was treated and incessantly referred to as a slut. I resolved to just acknowledge that, like other Rohmer films, this is a character study, and these characters are incredibly flawed (as his so often are), which is partly what makes them so wonderful. Not my favourite Rohmer, but definitely worth a watch. Sam's voice makes me cringe.
Although, to clarify, acknowledging these flaws is a bit different from condoning them. The beauty of these moral tales is their incredible parity to the internal conflicts we experienced in real life and the ugliness that sometimes nestles itself within us. This is that ugliness beautifully portrayed.
A previously unpublished article by French New Wave critic and filmmaker Luc Moullet on the cinema of Eric Rohmer.
The feeling of getting drenched in the sensuality of a Rohmer film after a long ‘sabbatical’ (from watching films ! ) is a feeling so ineffably and inexplicably pleasant and devastating at the same… read review