Rohmer's penultimate film finds him taking us to late 30's France, a time of political struggle, ideals, spying and preparing for eventual war. Our protagonists are an exiled Russian general and his Greek wife played to perfection by S. Renko and K. Didaskalou. Rohmer's script is near perfection; a talky but riveting examination of the time period. Shot between two more adventurous films this is vintage Rohmer.
Requires another viewing - first impression? A rich unravelling of the labyrinthine nature of duplicity - dialogue which reveals a complex tapestry of questionable motives and how natural instinct picks up rightly (and sometimes wrongly) on the signs and omens of betrayal.
A novel seen through Rohmer's marvelous eye is inevitably more sumptuous than any reading experience. This was an absolute pleasure. Serge Renko gives us a character with the kind of complexity that rarely appears on film. Gorgeous, gorgeous filmmaking from an older generation that still has its attention span.
My first experience of Rohmer, this sedate spy thriller takes plenty of time to show how subterfuge can affect married life and social situations. Set between WWI and WWII, it's a fascinating look at the lengths people will go to in order to try and get themselves on the right side once they see potential, familiar, trouble looming on the horizon. Great performances from the leads help.
There are some films that you wish you could follow the language without subtitles. This is one of them as the script/dialogue in this film is so rich . But, as the film brilliantly portrays, actions speak louder than words. A glass eyed agent (great lighting) betrays his devoted lover, who becomes aware of the depth of his duplicity at the same time as we do. I also need to watch this film again for the design
The film tackles the theme of secrecy and betrayal within the personal life of the lead character and his wife and also within the organizations of government movements in this volatile period of European history. The film is shot in a puzzling way in which the viewer must gather information through dialogues in order to form their own hypothesis as to the reality behind the events that happen.
Sum up Rohmer films, like musical describes La La Land, Talkie described Rohmer. If you love it, you really love it, if you hate it, you really hate it. Fortunately, I get it, and wonder if anything like Rohmer will come around again. A trademark to describe what happens instead of watching, the action takes place in imagination. This film was a great choice because without MUBI, this would simply not be seen.
I can smell the stuffy canapé on which - next to the wonderful art nouveau floor lamp - the married couple discusses world politics and art (politics). What are the bolsheviks up to, and who are close to the Nazis? Do you like Picasso? There are no innocent questions, neither - as it turns out - innocent answers; everybody might be part of the game, but you can never say for sure.
His eyes glittering like an insect, Veronin is so reasonable, yet so completely opaque. Arsinoe watches, gradually realizing that she too has been presented with a mask and that politics will affect her even if she has chosen to leave politics to her husband. I admire the film's grownupness: there's little explication. Our focus is bourgeois chatter and domestic routine: Veronin comes and goes, Arsinoe stays at home.
It's a rather strange affair. More like a theatre rather than cinema in the way it is shot. Lot's of dialogues that replace action. Static camera that pans but never tracks. Incredibly down to earth lighting. The story is oddly engaging to the point that you can't stop watching it although you feel like it leads to nowhere. Of course, it does lead to a dramatic conclusion that moves you. Odd yet mesmerising.
More cardboard than wooden! Non-cinema. Too expository, with dull declamations and even snippets read from a paper whereas the late 1930s politics / events were so dreadful, so compelling, and relevant now. NOBODY has political conversations as stilted, nor a marriage so distant. I support some imdb 1* reviews who say the best bits are the newsreels. At least I learnt some new stuff from reading wikipedia afterwards.