Rohmer followed the great successes of his “Six Moral Tales” with a marked departure from his playful studies of shifting ethical codes in contemporary France by adapting an 1808 novella by Heinrich von Kleist. Like the novella, the film begins with the publication of a remarkable newspaper advertisement, signed by the Marquise of the title, in which she reveals that she is pregnant and desirous of the man responsible to reveal himself. While chance encounters spontaneously drive the protagonists of the “Moral Tales” to examine their own consciences, here fate forces the Marquise to confront both her own comportment and the prejudices of her day. Taking full advantage of the film’s West Germany locations and entirely German cast, Rohmer and Nestor Almendros enriched the period film with rich quotes from German Romantic painting. —Harvard Film Archive
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
Was this a movie about a woman who falls in love with her rapist or I am over-reading too much? The execution is absolutely flawless.