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The craving for solitude and the unbearable loneliness that comes with it
danielhsf11 February 2005
It is not unreasonable to say that Rohmer's films are without par. No director has ever come close to his exquisite and acute observations of the human psyche, and so Rohmer's films are probably only comparable to each other. I find that the more films of his that I watch, the more I am able to see each film clearer. It is no wonder that out of the directors that emerged from the French New Wave, only Rohmer has been able to sustain critical acclaim for his films consistently.

Many detractors find fault with his style -- there is little or no music, the plot is only a very very rough skeleton of what actually goes on in his films (as it takes a backseat to exploring the psychology of his characters), there are many moments of silence, and those moments of dialog are mostly ramblings about philosophy, love, and life instead of plot advancement. Well, I find it quite difficult to articulate the charm of his movies too, since he isn't particularly flashy in his writing or his direction.

His films are largely introspective, drawing us in to view the character's psyche instead of the events that happen to him, as such his films are always introverted and quiet, where it seems nothing much happens. At first glance, the lead characters of his films seem to be all from the same mold: gloomy, quiet people who are extremely prone to making fickle choices and outbursts of emotion. But the more Rohmer you see, the more likely you'd be to distinguish a pattern among them and their distinctive traits in his characters.

They are always caught in a 'limbo' for lack of a better word, usually either caught between two choices that may tear their lives apart or make them better, or caught between two emotions that are pulling them in totally different directions. They are often afraid to take the leap, take the risk in deciding which point of action to make, and thus the films largely comprise of them searching for themselves, their identities, their desires and their wishes. They are as equally clueless about themselves as we are about them initially, and so it is folly to attempt to analyze them at the beginning. And as the film progresses, they learn more about themselves and perhaps we might learn a little more about ourselves too after we have gone through the same emotions and internal struggles with them.

That every lead has a distinctive trait is what separates his movies from each other. Each one of them is stuck, and exemplifies the different nuances of our struggles, and so they might all appear gloomy but they vary in their intents and sentiments. In The Green Ray in particular, the lead character is torn between the craving for solitude, and the unbearable loneliness that comes with it. To say I relate to it probably cheapens the film to a certain extent, but it is the best I can say with Rohmer's films. They portray a small corner in our lives that we have been before, that it is impossible to say any less. The fact that he is able to take each corner of our lives (and its accompanying mood) and blow it up on the big screen into a full-length feature film that is neither didactic nor ever fully reassuring, shows the mastery of his craft. Like us, he is unsure and searching, and he portrays that in his films beautifully.

All of his oeuvre is definitely worth watching, (save for the god-awful La Collectioneuse, one can only assume that he was going through a shitty state of mind when he was making that pretentious junk), and the best thing about Rohmer is the more films you see of him, the more you see in his films. The reason why I singled out The Green Ray (or Summer on the US DVD), is because of its brilliant lead actress Marie Riviere, which is not only immediately likable, but also painfully personal. Her journey is one that I can slip on comfortably anytime, with an ending that is equally sublime as it is magical. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who is intending to pick this up, but let's just say that it is probably one of the greatest moments of cinema that I have witnessed in my short life. To be able to capture it with such beauty and in such a context, not only offers a respite from the turmoil that we (the lead character and I) have gone through, but also a hope of self-discovery and awareness, makes this gem a great slice of cinema.
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Insightful and charming
Howard Schumann5 February 2006
We have been conditioned as a culture to believe that happiness lies in an ideal, future state. For example, we think it will all turn out when we finish school, when we get a job, when we get married, when we have children, then when we get divorced, or when we retire. It is always something or someplace more, better, or different but the more things change, the more they seem to remain the same. In Summer, aka The Green Ray, one of Eric Rohmer's most insightful and charming films, Delphine (Marie Riviere) is a young, intelligent, and good-looking Parisian secretary who has spent her life looking for "Mr Right". Like many who spend their life "searching", she is a perfectionist who keeps people away by maintaining impossible standards, then feels inadequate and unloved when things do not work out. She is interesting rather than interested.

When vacation time comes, her girlfriend goes to Greece with a boyfriend and she is left alone and feeling rejected. Turning down an offer to visit Ireland with her sister's family, she decides to take a trip to Cherbourg with a friend and her boyfriend, and does her best to fit in but it only leads to more frustration. After her friends prepare an elaborate dinner she tells them that she doesn't meat, seafood, or eggs and prefers vegetables like lettuce because they make her feel "light". She won't go sailing because it makes her seasick and she refuses a gift of apple blossoms because she thinks it's wrong to tear such large branches from trees. Rohmer impeccably captures Delphine's intense loneliness, a feeling of isolation that is even more pronounced when the people around you are doing what they think will make you happy. Near tears, she returns to Paris after only a few days in Cherbourg, then visits the Alps thinking she will go mountain climbing but she stays only one day.

When Delphine borrows a friend's apartment in Biarritz, however, she does settle down long enough to unpack. In Biarritz, the story is pretty much the same, however. Delphine says that she wants to meet people but when the opportunity arises in the form of two young men and Lena (Carita), a young Swedish blond, she runs the other way, although from all indications, leaving seems to be the most sensible option. Lena advises her to play cat and mouse with men. "It's like a card game", she says, "you can't reveal your hand right off". Delphine uses this piece of advice as another reason for beating herself up. "My hand is empty", she declares.

Delphine doesn't seem to believe in much, but, like many lonely people, she looks for signs that things are going to turn out all right. She is fascinated with playing cards and when she finds a green card lying in the street, she knows that green is her color of destiny for this year. While strolling the beach at Biarritz she overhears a conversation about a Jules Verne novel about an atmospheric phenomenon known as the Green Ray and she is mesmerized. According to Verne, just before the sun sets below the horizon, if you can see a burst of green light, it will help allow you gain an insight into your true self.

A synopsis of the plot, however, tells us little about what actually goes on in this mostly improvised film. Like most Rohmer works, what happens in the silences is more revealing than in the conversations. An entire world is written in the gestures, the facial expressions, and the nuances that reveal each character's personality. Summer is an intimate story of a woman's loneliness that rings true and brought back a flood of painful memories for me. Delphine, for all her warts, is very human. Somewhere up ahead always looks better than right here. When she can open herself up to the perfection of the moment, however, she becomes directly present to the world and can share its ineffable beauty.
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Charming anatomy of loneliness
I thoroughly enjoyed Le Rayon Vert. It showed "real" people, people that I felt I could relate to. This effect was achieved through improvisatory conversations and at points an almost documentary-style film-making technique, with the camera zooming in with mood changes or if something interesting is said (though make no mistake the framing and composition are very carefully controlled).

It's a character study of a lonely Parisienne secretary called Delphine, she is meant to be going off on holiday with a friend, but he cancels at short notice, so she has a dreaded improvised holiday.

What follows is an anatomy of loneliness, a description of the reasons why Delphine is lonely. It's strange to me because the film seemed to be positing two types of understanding, firstly there is fatalistic, bordering on mystic: Delphine is a Capricorn, as the lady at the outdoor dinner says, a goat climbing up a mountain alone. Her destiny seems to be written on cards she finds in the street, she's perhaps portrayed as not being capable of being anything different than what she is, a lonely introvert.

But then on the other hand the film is supposedly instructive, with a moral, and we have people trying to tell Delphine how to engage with life, for example a very outgoing Swedish tourist, and perhaps Delphine is engaging at the end of the film, or on the other hand she has merely been blown by the wind and allowed herself to be picked up a more promising candidate than previously she has met (there are a number of failed attempts to pick her up during the movie).

The movie is visually beautiful, I just love seeing movies shot in 4:3 these days. If you're dealing with human beings, my opinion is that you should be in 4:3, it's essentially portraiture. If you're shooting the Rio Grande or any other large spaces, then go with widescreen. There's some lovely shots of Delphine in the verdancy of nature, when Delphine and the little girl are eating wild blackcurrants (I felt like a child again seeing this, I could taste the blackcurrants), also of a very strange narrow green avenue Delphine goes down in the countryside. Then there's the colours, the red on the clothes that the characters are wearing (Delphine wears red but is searching for green, a contradiction), and little splashes of green all over the place punctuating the compositions. On the topic of Delphine being a walking contradiction, Delphine describes herself as not operating or not functional, like a normal person and then says, "I never do anything special to find someone or something". I always describe myself a bit like that, like a hungry dog that has lost the instinct to bite.

She's much like myself in many ways, when she's talking to the Swede they have a conversation about romantic encounters being a card game, Delphine says she has no cards, she just is exactly what you see, absolutely no coquetry is involved. Well that's me as well. She's really gauche in conversations, the vegetarianism discussion was a great example. I'm also an enthusiast concerning ideals and I love to talk about them given half a chance, but, for example discussing, in the manner of a dog with a bone, how meat-eating is unconscionable, at a table of carnivores, is not very tactful. I often behave like this.

The scene with the blackcurrants is perhaps the most painful, Delphine is staying in Cherbourg with the family of a friend, as a little girl asks her innocent questions about her life, and Delphine's unsocialised paranoia takes over and she wants to know who has put the girl up to asking.

It's a superb movie and it makes me want to see more Rohmer.
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The feeling of loneliness shown in its most natural & beautiful way
Juan-Carlos21 October 1998
Rohmer´s movies show ordinary people in common situations,

discovering the magic, the loneliness, the doubts and passions that hide behind the dull façade of modernity. There are no superstars, there´s no great music, there aren't magnificent dialogues, just real, natural, ordinary images that become extraordinary precisely because of their simplicity. In the "Rayon Vert", the image of a young woman hearing the noise of the wind in a rural landscape that brings her face to face with the dreaded consciousness of her loneliness, is one of the greatest movie scenes I´ve seen in my life.
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A great movie about inertia
CelineetJulie18 February 2006
The Green Ray is certainly a strange fish - quite simply it's about a single girl's (almost)wasted summer, going on holiday 3 times, and each time finding herself bored and frustrated, and ultimately an outsider. We see scene after scene of holiday makers having a good time, and poor Delphine just not feeling at ease. She is somewhat opinionated, for example in the vegetarian lecture - we've all had to sit through one of those, and liable to burst into self-pitying tears, but Delphine never the less gets my respect for her refusal to opt for second best.

Very few directors would be brave enough to make a film like this, but Rohmer pulls it off magnificently, and in the process delivers one of his finest movies. I can see why some viewers might find it a waste of time, but having been on a couple of solo holidays in the past I can sympathise with Delphine's predicament. Plus The Green Ray rewards the patient with a truly poetic finale.
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One of my favorite Rohmer films
anasu24 April 2000
I'm a big Rohmer fan - loved the recent Tale series, especially Tale of Autumn and Tale of Winter. This is one of my favorite Rohmer films which I can see again and again. The main character (wonderfully played by Marie Riviere) is depressed, moody, lonely and annoying -- which describes most of us, doesn't it -- and she's transformed by love, but only after she undergoes a journey that takes her deeper into herself.

What is it about Eric Rohmer? His main characters are usually a pain, they talk incessantly about trivial things, and they're bored and depressed. But Rohmer draws you in, absorbs you -- and somehow everything becomes quite soulful and profound and the films resonate in your head for days. Rohmer has what Nabokov called "shamantzen" -- spellbinding power -- the power of great storytellers.
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Better film than my review
dannyell19 June 2002
Something new on the screen! The sun shines, the wind blows, the clouds scud but it never rains. The treetops shiver in the melancholy gusts, the people gasp and murmur and gesticulate, and tears run down our heroine's cheeks. Again and again her face contorts as her fragile boat grinds on the rocky bottom.

A frustrated secretary lives for love. When a chance encounter informs her of the green ray, she is enamoured, thinking that this controversial phenomenon will bring the psychic clarity she so needs. She has so little self-esteem that she identifies with everything around her, she is somehow somewhat egoless, a pair of eyes, a pair of ears, a tortured heart. Her frame is delicate, almost skeletal. Fear is eating her soul.

She cannot reciprocate the robust friendship of one group of people due to her delicate vegetarian outlook (which she paradoxically defends with great vigour and the most articulacy she summons in two hours on screen). But she is excluded also due to the delicacy she cannot control (her sea-sickness, her love-sickness...) Wherever she goes, in fact, she cannot make friends. The ski bums of the alps treat her with relaxed cool cordiality but she leaves immediately because, she says, "I know that place". The implication is that she thinks she's leaving because the place is decadent and full of one night stands but that the underlying reality is of her not being able to stomach any reminder of herself. She wants to be reborn with a childlike clarity in the last miraculous light of the dying sun. This emphasises a cycle of small deaths and rebirths - falling into and out of love, leaving home, coming back again, leaving again.

This film is deeply concerned with one person and may seem obsessive, but it's one way of looking at life and has of course many resonances for our self-obsessed selves. Of course we cannot escape from ourselves, though we can expand that self so that it is not so claustrophobic to live in.
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Obligatory stop to every film addict.
Tithy12 March 2006
This is one of the most beautiful movies in the whole world. We can see an extraordinary Marie Riviere playing Delphine in a simply but charming history about loneliness and life as we know it. This film teach us to not close our eyes to the real things and keep going to the future no matter how empty looks everything around us. This is an obligatory stop to every film addict in this planet because also has a great photography and an amazing screenplay, maybe the dialogs are not brilliant, however is made for captivate the sensitives souls; And there is a sequence when Delphine has a discussion about the meat that is just fabulous and is when you think, whoa! this is really a very impressive movie. Excellent.
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Intriguing, Touching, Deftly-Made Drama Of Young Woman Looking For Love During A Summer Holiday
ShootingShark1 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Delphine is lovelorn. She wants a romantic relationship, but finds it hard to socialise or adhere to the conventions of dating. During the summer, she has nobody to vacation with but doesn't like travelling by herself. Is she destined to be alone ?

This lovely, thought-provoking little film, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1986, is typical of Rohmer's gentle but insightful drama. Delphine has an age-old problem; she's mature enough to be looking for something more meaningful than sex and partying, but young enough to be self-centred and dismissive of social expectations. When her friends encourage her to loosen up and flirt they just don't get that she wouldn't want to be with anyone she might meet using that strategy. Her frustration is beautifully played by Riviere, and is frequently uncomfortable to watch as she struggles to reconcile her longing with her prickliness and self-doubt. The film is full of richly observed little vignettes, like the dinner-table discussion of vegetarianism, or the central metaphor of the green flash (which is a real meteorological phenomena, as well as an 1886 novel by Jules Verne), and the locations in the Normandy port of Cherbourg and Basque seaside town of Biarritz are terrific. If you are unfamiliar with this gifted and prolific director's work (he made about thirty movies over forty years) this is a good introduction to his unpretentious but absorbing low-key dramas, as is his 1971 classic Le Genou De Claire. I don't think I've ever come across a filmmaker as honest as he is. This was the fifth in his series of six Comédies Et Proverbes works, coming between Les Nuits De La Pleine Lune and L'Ami De Mon Amie. English title - The Green Ray.
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This movie is wonderful, but not for everyone.
tonyribeiro21 July 2004
I am a big fan of this director. I saw this film many years ago, and it made a great impression on me. It is one of the most hopeful movies I have ever seen. It think it captures how magical moments can intrude into our lives when we least expect them. This is an exceedingly quiet movie, but stay with it, it builds up to a wonderful catharsis. The lead actress gives a good depiction of a frustrated, melancholy woman trying to find her way out of difficult period in her life. To enjoy this movie, it helps greatly if you are fascinated by unusual astronomical phenomena, and French and Swedish women. . .and you must be willing to stick to a movie which has long moments when not much seems to be happening. I guess I really like the lead actress, she is superb!
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Decent and involving enough little drama about a woman stood up; feeling down and then flitting both up and down the nation of France as she attempts to reconcile.
johnnyboyz17 October 2010
Where another of French filmmaker Eric Rohmer's films from the 1980s, 1982's The Good Marriage, was about a young woman addicted to sexual flings attempting to leave her world and attitudes behind so as to seek out something more concrete; his 1986 film The Green Ray covers a woman of equal age, but of a more passive state, trying to discover true love in a more honest form. The film is a pleasant enough little mediation, but both as a stand alone piece and when compared to The Good Marriage, that's all it is; the biting, explosive nature of The Good Marriage's lead and the drama that surrounds her stepping out of a somewhat misandric comfort zone into one of long-term love affairs with all the danger that comes with her mental state, was much more gripping and enthralling. It was braver, starker and was really well directed. The lead here, Marie Rivière's Delphine, carries far less of a personality in this sense; and with that, the film carries less of an edge – less danger and hostility. Gone is the immediacy and yet retained is a sense of a woman on a voyage out to make her own discoveries about the opposite sex and the nature of love, all under Rohmer's style of long takes and the etching out of as much realism and as much authentication from the scenes as possible.

Was The Good Marriage's conclusion one of a decidedly bleak nature? It's lead did, after all, appear to happily discover exactly where she appeared to belong in life following something of a diversion or an experiment. The Green Ray's finale is more clear-cut, in that it involves a handsome looking man beside a beach as he observes a somewhat typical and rather Hollywoodised event thus rendering the conclusion more fabricated than we would have liked after so little was driven by instance and causality. Both films see their leads flit from one instance to another, the key difference as to what makes one much more dramatic and involving than the other in that The Green Ray covered a woman attempting to find someone; The Good Marriage was more preoccupied with a woman trying to understand someone. We begin with Delphine at work in a Paris based office, the month July and the weather hot, with her holiday a matter of days away. Tragedy strikes when the boyfriend calls her and cancels their relationship; the holiday still on but a spare space now on show where just a minute ago her man was the occupant. Shell shocked and forlorn, the film will go on to cover Delphine's wondering; stumbling; sprawling and meandering misadventures throughout a number of French locales after a number of suggestions from a number of people; her trip seeing her jump from the large ports of Normany to the cold ski resorts of La Plagne to the baking July beaches of Biarritz.

To be involved in the film, you need to be on Delphine's side; the reading of her situation as one of immense misfortune and the noting of her reaction she provides us with as acceptable instead of reading into it as unnecessary moping on a grandeur scale, neigh on essential. The nature and strength of her relationship with her former partner not explored and consequently the full extent unknown, the asking from Rohmer of us to weep for a young woman whom now cannot go off on a summer holiday with a boyfriend and get up to exactly what it is that transpires under those circumstances now in full force. As the film unfolds, Delphine's attitudes will change; her shifting away from desperation linked to her need to find a man so as to take him on holiday like all her friends are doing, thus avoiding going against the status quo, and into a more relaxed and more natural attitude interesting enough to become somewhat absorbed in. It is, after all, only when she begins to cease her earlier attitudes that the right man at the right time comes along.

Her journeying to Normandy, Cherbourg in particular, with a friend and her large family sees an attempt at picking up a local seaman go horribly wrong when the authenticity of the man becomes questionable and the danger of just what kind of a person he is suddenly prominent. During her stretch in the Northern region of Normandy, Rohmer will position Delphine in a composition which encompasses a beach in the background as people in groups have fun and enjoy themselves whilst on their holidays; her respective position in the frame in relation to those people, that place and the activities going on systematic of the situation in that she is not participating along with them, despite she would probably doing so had she still been with someone. Instead, more rural walks around fields and farmland by herself that encompass the passing by of a local church is the norm; a day out shot far more intimately as the resonance of the situation and the nature of her holiday and what she does't want settles in.

Delphine's journeying sees her shoot all around France, the postcard style and the heavy use of respective pieces of iconography in each region reminiscent of more mainstream pieces although here clashing oddly but effectively with the cinema vérité style and aesthetics Rohmer is applying to his piece. As the film nears its end, Delphine will meet a young Swedish girl whom is additionally travelling alone and enjoys talking and messing with local men that encounter her. Her introduction a confident, topless swagger in the hot sun from seashore to a beach-space beside Delphine, but her attitudes towards the opposite sex ones which effectively scare our lead, even alienating her from these attitudes: a final step in the transition which switches her from seeking out quick, easy substitutions to her predicament and onto a certain train station rendez-vous, rounding off an enjoyable enough piece.
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feel inevasible loneliness
a-fool28 April 2001
Watching the film,we keenly feel the same inevasible loneliness as the heroine Delphine.While trivial conversations keep going and going(seems non-stop for ever),the loneliness become more and more intolerable.No one can,or is ready to,understand others(even being friends).Then Delphine's every attempt to communicate has to get dissolved in pretence and indifference from others.It's the common situation shared by everyone who still hold his/her dreams like Delphine.

Rohmer has considerable mercy to show the final appearing of "Le Rayon Vert".£¬It offers us some redeeming hope so that we can collect our confidence and faith in life to looke for "Rayon Vert" of ourselves.Maybe we will be still waiting in the final twilight of life,but our dreams will remain beautiful and vivid the same,right?

In the film,Rohmer shows more sympathy and affection on his characters than usual,much considerately as we see.Of course I just watched a few from him.This time I see none of the distinct irony(sometimes acrid) in formers.

btw,the actress Marie Riviere portrays "blue" Delphine perfectly.And I surprisedly find her also in "Writers",along with Rohmer. Expect more from them.
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depressed people are very annoying company but it isn't their fault
marieinkpen24 November 2009
ha ha. eric rohmer's films one probably loves or hates. 'too much' talk, too little 'action', and the talk is so self-obsessed bordering on banal. his films are almost slice-of-life except most normal people don't think and talk as deeply as this. delphine is lucky to have any friends at all since she is so whiney and self-obsessed and refuses to do anything that might make her feel any better and most people would be forgiven for walking out on this film within 20 minutes. but then it suddenly occurs that she is actually suffering from chronic depression - which doesn't make her behaviour any easier to deal with but it does make you realise that she does actually have a mental illness and she cant behave any differently. she desperately wants to connect with people but constantly pushes them away, is so lonely but cant find anyone worth trusting and letting in. and you realise at the end that she is not just snobbish and picky when she finally meets someone she CAN connect with and it changes her because HE is different. so ultimately it is a very beautiful and magical film but really just another fairy-tale because, let's face it, that kind of happy ending wouldn't happen in real life (and probably he will get sick of her intensity too. lighten up!)
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Interesting Rohmer With A Few Faults
cwarne_uk3 September 2008
Eric Rohmer has fashioned a film that perfectly mirrors the main character Delphine. It is by turns annoying, insightful and moving. With improvised dialogue the film has a more naturalistic feel than some of Rohmers other work, he also shows more interest in nature than usual making this one of his more interesting films to look at. Delphine, brilliantly played by Marie Riviere, is lonely (and seemingly pining for her ex-fiancé) and her attempts at a vacation form the body of the film. She travels to various places but not until the end does she find something like happiness. She can be very maddening - ignoring people (presumably because they are "not the right sort" - just plain rude to my mind), and lecturing a family on her vegetarianism as they tuck into lamb chops. She does though seem a very real person, and many viewers will find themselves rooting for her anyway - she is like many people we know in being full of faults but you still like them anyway. The greatest weakness of the film is that for all her self-absorption Rohmer does not really provide any evidence of self-insight or change (a serious fault in that drama is all about characters changing), Delphine talks a lot about her problems but her explanations often struck me as trite. An oddity among his output, this should be seen by any Rohmer fan, I would not recommend it as an introduction though. (The mark of 6 may seem low by inflated IMDb standards but it is relative to Rohmers other films).
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Paths of Least Resistance
futures-128 October 2006
I liked this film very much, even though the lead character was a real pain in the ass to anyone who was stuck near her.

It's not the look of the film, nor most of the acting, that attracts me (although the lead character is done VERY well) - it's the purity of Roehmer's looking at one idea from various angles, exploring it further than we normally do in daily life (unless we are in an intimate relationship with another person), and having the courage to depict it with no sideline curiosities, diversions, or compromising entertainment.

It's dubbed, and has a script full to the brim with dialog. Translation: LOTS of subtitle reading. This IS a "discussion" film, and the exchanges are important - however, much of their meaning is hidden in the juxtaposition of words vs actions, facial expressions, body language, etc.. so it's equally visual.

I do wish Roehmer used better production qualities. The look of his film takes on something of a rough documentary appearance - which has great potential - but his are without the total spontaneity of a real document OR the total control of all those populating the frame. I.e., "extras" are not controlled well enough to appear unaware of the camera, nor trained enough to act their way through a scene. He needs professional extras.

Okay, THAT aside, the CONTENT of the MAIN POINT is so interesting, sad, maddening, and insightful, THIS is why you stick with it. This woman lives in a huge forest of her own, and can't seem to spot a single tree. Everyone can relate to this idea through life's observations - AND direct experience.

Face it. NONE of us manage to know the entire forest by our solo strolls along paths of least resistance.
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Overrated, Boring and Dull Tale of Loneliness
Claudio Carvalho20 November 2008
In Paris, fifteen days before her summer vacation, the lonely secretary Delphine (Marie Rivière) receives a call from her friend Caroline telling her that she would not travel with her to Scotland. Delphine does not want to travel alone and has difficulties to have relationship with unknown people, and she decides to travel to Cherbourg with a friend. A couple of days later, she is bored and decides to return to Paris. Then she calls a friend in La Plagne, but she returns on the same day to her place in Saint German. While walking on the streets of Paris, she meets an old friend that offers her house in Biarritz. Once there, a young stranger flirts with Delphine, invites her to go to Bayonne and they spend the afternoon together and watch the sunset until its last green ray.

I have had another huge disappointment with the director Eric Rohmer after watching "Le Rayon Vert". I found this movie an overrated, boring and dull tale of loneliness with an annoying lead character. It is very easy to understand the solitude of the unpleasant Delphine and I recommend to see this movie on DVD, since the viewer will be able to use the rewind (when he or she takes an involuntary nap) or the fast forward button in case of unbearable boredom. In my case I was forced to rewind the movie three or four times. My vote is three.

Title (Brazil): "O Raio Verde" ("The Green Ray")
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An absolutely outstanding portrayal of chronic depression
Ron9929 July 1999
In my opinion, Marie Riviere, through her character Delphine, does an absolutely outstanding job in portraying the subjective side of a condition known as "chronic depression" or "dysthymia" As such, it should be mandatory viewing for all mental health professionals in training. A film that I love almost as much, and that is fairly similar, is "A Week's Holiday" ("Une Semaine de Vacances", 1980) starring Nathalie Baye. Finally, I feel that "Le Rayon Verte" is MUCH better than Eric Rohmer's other films. It's his masterpiece !
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Comedies & Proverbs: The last flash of the day
Ilpo Hirvonen19 June 2010
Eric Rohmer built quite a reputation with his series of 6 films, The Moral Tales, in the 1960-70's. When the new decade came he decided to make a new series of films called Comedies & Proverbs. This series wasn't as consistent as The Moral Tales. The films of Comedies & Proverbs didn't have the same similarity in narrative and themes as The Moral Tales did. Le rayon vert is the fifth film in the series. Its most common translation is Summer, but I prefer the other translation to be more accurate to the context, The Green Ray.

Le rayon vert seems to abandon the usual "clean" narrative of Rohmer. It seems like a cruddy documentary at some points, which is of course intentional. The cinematography is beautiful & deep and Eric Rohmer's famous dialog is as sharp as it always is: Intelligent, funny and realistic. He's very talented in creating a realistic situation. He is the master of combining art with reality.

Le rayon vert is about a woman named Delphine (Marie Rivière), who hasn't yet found her true love as she hasn't her true self. The film studies a very common subject for French people; holidays. Delphine tries different kind of holidays, at her childhood town, Cherbourg, on the beach and in the city. As she's trying to find a good place to rest, she's finding herself.

The character, Delphine is very interesting and we get to know many things about her. For instance we found out, at her childhood place, that she is a vegetarian - first of all the scene is brilliant. Others don't quite seem to understand her diet & lifestyle. She doesn't want to eat meat because it reminds her of blood and heartbeats. She tries to stutter about the glory of salad, the fresh friendship of it.

The title, The Green Ray comes directly from a book by Jules Verne, with the same title. The green flash means the last fold ray of the sun from the horizon, which makes one see into one's own and to others' souls. Into the hands of this romantic flash the main characters gives her faith and destiny.

A very good film, intelligent and funny, just as the name of the series promises. Le rayon vert starts with a proverb by Rimbaud: "Ah! que les temps vienne Ou les coeurs s'eprennent." The Green Ray is full of symbolism just as the cards and the colors. It also shows some very beautiful shots from the French countryside.

8/10 A guaranteed Rohmer piece!
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Nice Vacation
kenjha21 September 2009
A single woman in Paris looks to salvage her summer vacation after her original plans are disrupted. Is she shy or depressed or just picky when it comes to men? The answer is not necessarily revealed but it is a pleasant journey as we get to know her and accompany her on scenic excursions in France. Riviere, who co-wrote the script with Rohmer, is quite good as the woman whose boyfriend seems to have left her and who feels like her life is falling apart, but is also unsure what she wants out of life. She is not a particularly sympathetic character but she does seem real. Instead of revealing any big truths, Rohmer is mostly interested in the little things that reveal character.
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Good film by Rohmer
Andres Salama22 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The green ray in the title of this French movie (also called green flash) refers to an optical phenomenon in which you can sometimes see, under certain hard to attain conditions, a green light coming from the horizon right after sunset (or right before sunrise). The famous French novelist Jules Verne wrote about this natural occurrence in a book called "The Green Ray" which is briefly referred to in the movie.

The film itself is about Delphine (played by Marie Riviere, who has been in several movies of director Eric Rohmer), who works as a secretary in a Paris office. She is a slender, tallish, moderately attractive black haired woman in perhaps her late twenties and has a "difficult" personality. She has recently broken up with her boyfriend, right before the summer holidays, and the prospect of lonely vacations much saddens her (though to some in the audience it might not make the most compelling of tragic situations). So the movie is about her talking with friends about her predicament until she decides to go alone, meeting on the road a few people (including a Swedish woman who she first meets topless at a beach and who is meant to represent sexually liberal attitudes). I'm not going to spoil it for you whether Delphine will find a romantic partner or not during her travels, but the ray of the title does make an appearance.

The movie is from 1986 and since it was shot on the street, you can see people with what are now "period" clothes. If you were, like me, a child in the 1980s, you will probably like this.

Talky, as expected from the director, but the dialogues are not as pretentious as in other of his movies. Not the best of Rohmer, but very watchable. One problem with the plot is that it is not terribly original, since most of us have seen too many movies about single women around 30 years of age feeling lonely.
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The Most From the Least
Audrain9 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The greatest directors can make the most from the very least, and in this case, Éric Rohmer initially seems to present the viewer with the flimsiest of comic scenarios. A quiet young woman, Delphine, played expertly by Marie Rivière, finds herself short a summer vacation traveling companion. Big deal, right? From this we get a series of semi-humorous scenes, some verging on banality, in which Delphine travels to various spots, walks around or talks airily about things, but cannot enjoy herself, not only because she's physically alone, even when with friends, but also because, as we soon learn, she has broken up with a longtime boyfriend, Jean-Pierre.

What initially appears to be a depiction of loneliness born of isolation shades into a portrait, lightly but beautifully handled under Rohmer's tough, of a young woman's melancholy, frustration and depression. Delphine breaks into tears several times, and each episode raises the stakes, showing how sad and ultimately angry she truly is, not just because she has truly lost Jean-Pierre, but because she is the kind of person who is not demonstrative, not the life of the party--like the Swedish acquaintance she meets in Biarritz, or her Parisian friends--not inclined to play the games expected of single women. Instead, Delphine is a shy, soft- spoken introvert who takes things and potential relationships as they come, which might mean that she'll never again have a chance at love, or that she won't be able to act in the expected ways if the opportunity were to present itself.

Except that maybe she does, or at the very least, she does seize an opportunity that looks like desperation at first until the entire scene plays out. Though I clicked the "spoiler" button I will not give away the ending, but it is a stunner, so simple and incredibly moving. What is also a testament to Rohmer's genius is how he sets it all up, with a very believable, overheard, improvised conversation earlier, revolving around Jules Verne's story *The Green Ray,* and the mythic element in it. This should be a film every film student studies to learn how to pull off the most powerful emotional payoff with what appears to be almost nothing. And Rohmer and Rivière earn it. Superb.
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Éric Rohmer's Comedies and Proverbs series:Part 5.
morrison-dylan-fan1 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Disappointingly finding the Blu-Ray to be faulty, (which due to a lack of receipt means I can't replace it or sell the set on!) I was relieved to discover that the DVD version of this entry in Rohmer's loose film series played fine,which led to me getting ready to go on a summer holiday.

The plot:

Hit by a breakup just before her summer holiday, Delphine decides to join a friend on a beach house weekend.Almost from the moment she takes her first steps in the beach house, Delphine finds her pal trying to get her to confirm to her idea of what a good holiday is. Running off (talk about giving someone a chance!) Delphine isolates herself in search of the perfect holiday.

View on the film:

Skipping into the season with Delphine,co-writer/(along with lead actress Marie Rivière) director Éric Rohmer & cinematographer Sophie Maintigneux cast a warm,floral atmosphere,where water colour blue, greens and yellows sway in the fine breeze.Shot with just a crew of 4 people and the cast improvising the dialogue from Rohmer's outline,Rohmer's restrains himself from showing any sign of rebellion in the limited set-up,by spanning the title with frozen wide shots.

Along with cutting the free-flowing nature on offer away,leads to the film being rather dry. Threaded with improvised dialogue from the cast, Marie Rivière offers a shimmering image of isolation as Delphine,that is left to sadly fade by the dialogue having a sawn- off, stilted quality which blocks a full view of the sun and Delphine from being cast across the screen.
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Highly influential film with little action, but both dialogue and silences that say much
colinbellUK4 January 2015
I already liked this film a lot having owned it on DVD as part of a great value Rohmer box set. However when the opportunity came up to see it at the cinema today I couldn't pass it up. This film and others by the same director have influenced other films which I like a lot (e.g. Before Sunrise/ Before Sunset) in that there is little action but lots of conversation, some interesting, some banal. I identified strongly with the quiet introvert lead character Delphine, who was misunderstood by her friends and given all sorts of advice on finding a partner which wouldn't be suitable for her at all. The performance by Marie Riviere was wonderful and she contributed to the dialogue too (she has a credit shared). Lots of times she had subtle facial expressions going on which spoke volumes and it made me wish I spoke French as when I kept looking to the subtitles I knew in the time I was reading them I was missing some of those. Even the silences (or just bouts of tears) spoke volumes. I won't reveal too much of the plot except to say it has a hopeful feeling towards the end and the whole thing appealed very much to the romantic in me.
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Again simpleness overshadows with its complexity.
Franny Cello3 January 2015
This film is, no doubt, about loneliness and emptiness. But not in the casual meaning. The protagonist - Delphine can be seem in look for a guy - in order to be happy, to enjoy the life. But not, really. She is not looking for a guy or, anybody, anything. Name it either "she doesn't want to confess herself that she need somebody in her life to be happy, or understand it in the opposite meaning. I think, she is not, at the same time, is in search. As we see in the movie, she rings some people hoping to spend her vacation with. But the only one she is looking for, is she herself. In her personage, we can see ourselves. Eric Rohmer wanted to express the whole human being's purpose of life in the frames of one single personage's expressions. Everybody is looking for - not anybody or anything, but themselves. And this is about (maybe endless) search. Happy people achieve it, but not everybody, unfortunately... For movie: 10 of 10.
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Pure Rohmer
LeRoyMarko8 February 2004
Somehow depressing movie about Delphine's emotions. Pure Rohmer in how the movie deals with sentiments. Nothing is really happening here, but at the same time, a lot is at work. Characters discover what's inside them, what governs their feelings. Not the best Rohmer, but still interesting. Marie Rivière is very good as Delphine.

Out of 100, I gave it 74. That's good for **½ out of ****.

Seen at home, in Toronto, on February 8th, 2004.
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