Ten classics from cinema’s master of humanity and compassion.
Like his nouvelle vague colleagues (especially Godard), Rohmer – born Maurice Schérer – had a personal mission. For him, film was the ideal art form for engaging with reality, particularly the inner world of feelings and thoughts. Subtly counterpointing words, gestures, glances and actions, his witty, affecting tales of intelligent, articulate, recognisably ‘ordinary’ people trying to fathom what kind of life and lover they’d like are psychologically astute and profoundly compassionate.
Co-author of a study of Hitchcock, he was adept at suspense; well-versed in the arts, he made his stories of longing and seduction resonate in all sorts of ways. Throughout, Rohmer achieved a rare consistency of subject, tone and quality; like Godard or Ozu, he effectively invented his own genre.
Early in his career, he formed his own company to retain control over his work; working to a low budget, shooting on location with a tiny crew, he composed endlessly inventive variations on a range of themes. His warm, respectful interest in his characters, notwithstanding their flaws, means that his films are a celebration of life in all its mysterious, sensuous, sometimes absurd glory.
This collection includes Rohmer's entire, six-film Comedies and Proverbs series, his mid-career meditation on the dilemmas faced by the young, as well as another four fabulous works from France's master of humanistic, compassionate cinema.
The Aviator's Wife
Drama1980106 minsDirector: Eric Rohmer
A bittersweet fable about a young man's jealous pursuits; the first film in Eric Rohmer's six-film series, Comedies and Proverbs.
A Good Marriage
Comedy1981100 minsDirector: Eric Rohmer
Eric Rohmer's pleasingly precise portrait of obstinately perverse longing, with Béatrice Romand as the student determined to marry a uninterested lawyer.
Pauline at the Beach
Comedy198295 minsDirector: Eric Rohmer
Eric Rohmer's final collaboration with the great cinematographer Nestor Almendros follows a holidaying teenager as she begins to navigate the adult world.
Full Moon in Paris
Drama1984102 minsDirector: Eric Rohmer
The fourth film of Eric Rohmer's Comedies and Proverbs series is a cool, ironic yet compassionate cautionary tale of need, greed, deceit and self-delusion.
My Girlfriend's Boyfriend
Romance1987104 minsDirector: Eric Rohmer
Eric Rohmer's story of a woman's guilt-ridden relationship with her friend's lover is the concluding part to his six-film Comedies and Proverbs series.
Drama1978140 minsDirector: Eric Rohmer
Rohmer's extraordinary adaptation of Chrétien de Troyes' 12th-century poem charts the sentimental education of a selfish naïve young knight (Fabrice Luchini) in chivalry, courtship, courage and faith.
The Tree, the Mayor and the Mediatheque
Drama1993111 minsDirector: Eric Rohmer
Eric Rohmer's needle-sharp satire of a mayor whose plans to build a provincial arts centre are scuppered by a local teacher.
Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle
Comedy198699 minsDirector: Eric Rohmer
Eric Rohmer's delightful, episodic account of the blossoming friendship between a gauche, highly opinionated country girl and a more laid-back Parisian student.
The Marquise of O...
Period drama1976103 minsDirector: Eric Rohmer
Eric Rohmer's first feature-length film after a four-year break from filmmaking is a German-language adaptation of Henrich von Kleist's classic novel, following the titular Marquise as she deals with an unwanted pregnancy.