Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The eloquence of cinematic space: Eric Rohmer 1920-2010

Image from La Collectionneuse (Eric Rohmer, 1967)
"What Rohmer does, in essence, is precisely to give space to this elusive life of the heart, expanding the arena for those subtle and important personal choices which most of the time, for most of us, are squeezed below the surface made up of work and more conscious or pressing demands", Judith Williamson [Deadline at Dawn: Film Criticism 1980-1990, Marion Boyars, London, 1993, p. 180]
“After all I do not say, I show. I show people who move and speak. That is all I know how to do, but that is my true subject.” Eric Rohmer ["Letter to a Critic Concerning my Contes moraux"]
"Rohmer remained true to a restrained, rationalist aesthetic, close to the principles of the 18th-century thinkers whose words he frequently cited in his movies. And yet [his] work was warmed by an undercurrent of romanticism and erotic yearning, made perhaps all the more affecting for never quite breaking through the surface of his elegant, orderly films" 
Dave Kehr [The New York Times, January 11, 2010]

A shocked Film Studies For Free mourns the passing of Eric Rohmer, one of the key directors of the French New Wave and one of the most eloquent founders, audiovisually and verbally, of the discourse of modern cinema.

David Hudson of The Auteurs is busily gathering links to a fantastic range of eulogies to, and other worthwhile material about, this filmmaker. Below, FSFF offers up its own (customary) tribute in the form of a list of links to online, freely accessible, and notable scholarly resources which explore Rohmer's magnificent body of cinematic work:

                • YouTube videos (part 1 and part 2): excerpts of Claire Denis's film of Serge Daney interviewing Jacques Rivette on his early interest in filmmaking, his days with Cahiers du cinéma, and his first meetings with Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and Eric Rohmer (from 3 mins 30 secs). A must watch for those who haven't yet seen Denis's Jacque Rivette, The Watchman.


                Peter Nellhaus said...

                Not so eloquent is a blogger award I offer to you.

                Catherine Grant said...

                Thank you Peter! My unworthy response is here: http://filmstudiesforfree.blogspot.com/2010/01/award-season-begins.html