Educational documentaries are not exactly my cup of tea so I approached this Rohmer short (from the series "The Industrial Era"), running 22 minutes, with reasonable trepidation. Despite affording landscape the same consideration he usually bestowed upon his human characters, it all proved somewhat less than entertaining, even a little dull. Nevertheless, I cannot deny the film's basic instructiveness: delineating the way the once picturesque French countryside (which had inspired many a celebrated Impressionist painter) has been gradually 'devoured' in the name of progress by noisy machinery deployed in the erection of imposing steel structures. Incidentally, while the deliberately gray quality of the cinematography suggests that something of the vitality so representative of Paris has definitely been lost in the process, one can still detect a certain elegance in these abstract forms which, either by coincidence or design, can often be seen to evoke past monuments.
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