3 items from 2010
If you read the newspaper articles that appeared following the death of Eric Rohmer early this year, you will have come across the cliché that his work is ‘talky’: the implicit criticism is that Rohmer’s films feature too much dialogue and not enough action. Personally, I see nothing wrong with characters engaging in thought-provoking debate. Dialogue can do a lot to advance the film’s narrative, so a film with a lot of talking is not necessarily a film in which nothing happens. It seems to me that those who criticize a film for being ‘talky’ believe that cinema’s natural vocation is to convey movement per se, and this seems an awfully restrictive vision of the medium.
I recently watched one of Rohmer’s earliest films, Le Signe du lion (The Sign of Leo, 1959). This film is certainly not considered one of his best, but it’s »
- Alison Frank
Rimbaud's mantra, 'one must be absolutely modern', guided the father of the New Wave, a director fascinated by France's bourgeoisie
The New Wave has just lost its father, and France a rigorous observer of his time whose films represented better than most what it may mean to be French. Ten to 15 years older than the Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, Louis Malle and François Truffaut, whom he would hire to write alongside him in the soon mythical Les Cahiers du Cinéma, Eric Rohmer, who died yesterday in his 90th year in Paris, had invented a completely distinct art form.
A graduate in classics and German and until the mid-1950s a professor of literature in provincial France, he always followed Rimbaud's mantra: "One must be absolutely modern."
In cinema, as a critic turned director (whose first film was made at the age of 39 in 1959), to him the poet's motto »
- Agnès Poirier
Idiosyncratic French film-maker who was a leading figure in the cinema of the postwar new wave
In Arthur Penn's intelligently unconventional private eye thriller Night Moves (1975), Gene Hackman's hero – who finds the mystery he faces as unfathomable as his personal relationships – is asked by his wife whether he wants to go to an Eric Rohmer movie. "I don't think so," he says. "I saw a Rohmer film once. It was kind of like watching paint dry."
Behind that exchange lies a jab at Hollywood's mistrust of any film-maker, especially a French one, who neglects plot and action in favour of cerebral exploration, metaphysical conceit and moral nuance. The Dream Factory, after all, had proved through trial and error that cinema is cinema, literature is literature, and the twain shall meet only provided the images rule, not the words.
Of the major American film-makers, perhaps only Joseph Mankiewicz allowed his scripts, »
- Ronald Bergan
3 items from 2010
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners