Eric Rohmer (1920-2010)

Filmmaker, critic, and French New Wave pioneer Eric Rohmer has died at the age of 89.

Rohmer was one of the great filmmakers, and his films have been a deep source of personal and professional inspiration to me. My personal favorites are My Night at Maud’s, Autumn Tale, and part one of Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle. In the last of these, the climax of the film has two young women awaking at dawn to listen for “the blue hour” — a possibly-mythical moment of absolute silence in nature. It is a moment that, for me, is the essence of Rohmer’s art.

If you are a fan, I recommend Colin Crisp’s superb book, Eric Rohmer: Realist and Moralist, which, in addition to Crisp’s observations, contains many passages of Rohmer talking and writing about his filmmaking practice.

One Response to “Eric Rohmer (1920-2010)”

  1. Daniel Kremer Says:

    I was disturbed to discover a rumor recently that Eric Rohmer’s Les Film du Losange partner and French New Wave titan, 81-year-old Jacques Rivette (my favorite filmmaker), may have recently directed his final film recently, as his health is failing. I hope it’s not so. The old masters are sadly dropping like flies with each passing year.

    I just watched Perceval le Gallois again just recently, and grew to understand and appreciate that he pioneered the minimalist Brechtian aesthetic in film long before the others did. I was never the hugest fan of Rohmer (I remember seeing his Claire’s Knee when I was very young), but I was very saddened to hear about his passing today. In New York recently, I saw his L’arbre, le maire et la médiathèque on a print, which was excellent and fascinatingly enough seemed to be a close cousin to Resnais’s La Vie est un roman (1983).