In Rohmer’s first color film, 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.
Eric Rohmer, the French New Wave’s realist par excellence (and a master of witty, literate, deliciously ironic dialogue) spent the 60s making a now legendary series of “Six Moral Tales”. With La collectionneuse, he took the “Moral Tales” into darker territory and created an arthouse classic!
Rohmer is fluent and delicate in this little gem, with a pace and shots to cherish and characters to despise and recognize. There is sun and sea, a beautiful woman and two men brabbling on and on while it all boils down to our hunt for love and tenderness, and all the small sparks and stinges it renders within us. There are ideas and stupidities flying and we can't choose our catch
An incredibly dark film! It seems to be Rohmer's attempt at a reworking of Hitchcock's Vertigo within a more 'realist' framework... It takes a while to realize we're following an unstable narrator and Rohmer is attacking his misogyny. The way he consistently talks objectively and yet his ideas shift as the story progresses is fascinating, making the film itself equally unstable. So skillfully constructed - beautiful.
Don't sympathize with my male heroes, Rohmer once advised, and goddamn right: the men in La Collectionneuse would nowadays be occupying a noxious Sub-Reddit. But it is an intriguing, witty tale, with beautifully shot golden hour photography, on Rohmer's theme of heroes who narrate and misunderstand their own lives. Say what you want about Haydee—compared to an older man on permanent vacation, she's the more honest.
Ah, the sunny cinematography of Nestor Almendros! Re-rating a film that this time seemed to be much more appealing than before, for its pleasure of romanesque and the contradictory play of it. Between the off and the in, the image is the solar pacification of a drama's archetype not dramatized, ie,not interiorised, and here lies the game conductor's mastery: we can't always get what we play, but cinema can.
Clever, clever Rohmer. Creates superficial, vapid, emotionally immature characters that are somehow as relatable as insufferable. Playfully, deliciously, amusingly, presents them, without resorting to caricature or cheap shots. Exposes the naive, scary dangerousness of their solipsism while gently, empathetically, implicating us all. My 2nd Rohmer, and it easily lived up to the hopes he instilled in me with the 1st.
The fourth of Rohmer's 'Moral Tales' series is an amusing quaint study of a self-absorbed self appointed moralist who along with a summer housemate calls into question the morality of a young woman also sharing the house dubbing her 'la collectionneuse'. The fact that the character has no real prospects or apparent future seems to have no bearing on his self obsession and sense of superiority making him insufferable.
Moving bravely, if languidly, towards a heroic dandyism, the unmoneyed but very well-put-together art-dealer Adrien joins his artist friend Daniel on the Riviera to enact a vision of moral purity based on doing absolutely nothing, only to be waylaid by the twinned temptations of beauty and commerce, as represented by the impossibly adorable Haydee and a crassly materialist American art collector.