i.m. éric rohmer

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http://www.lemonde.fr/carnet/article/2010/01/11/mort-d-eric-rohmer-legende-du…
http://www.liberation.fr/culture/0101613208-eric-rohmer-est-mort
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Rohmer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Rohmer
& more (thumbnail) screenshots @ http://www.theauteurs.com/cast_members/1057

What a unique look and feel his films had … and of course what magnificent scripts and dialogues (I’m curious to read his 1946 novel “Elisabeth”, published under the Gilbert Cordier pseudonym) … those titles … the acting … la mise en scène … a truly unique director has died … he almost reached the age of 90 … RIP.

Bonus: two quotes from “L’amour l’après midi” (Conte moral #6) aka “Love in the afternoon” aka “Chloe in the afternoon”, as printed in: Rohmer, Eric: Six moral tales. Tranlated from the French by Sabine d’Estrée.- Farncombe : Lorrimer 1980. (= Classic film scripts, ISBN 0856470759, or 093062128X for the US edition published by Frederick Ungar, New York) Translated from “Six contes moraux“, Cahiers de l’Edition de l’Herne, 1975, ISBN 2851977075 (French 2003 reprint).

“I’m walking in the street, through crowds of women. I sit down at a café terrace and watch the women passing by. If there is one thing I am no longer capable of, it’s doing the whole seduction number with a girl. I can’t imagine what I would find to say to her, or even if I would be able to dream up a reason for talking to her in the first place. I don’t want anything from her, and if it comes down to that, I wouldn’t even want to proposition her. Yet I feel that marriage is hemming me in, as though I’m living in a cloister, and there are times I feel like running away. The prospect of peace and happiness stretching far into the future ultimately depresses me. I find myself looking back on the not-too-distant past, when I was assailed by the doubts and torments of uncertainty, the awful feeling of not being sure. I dream of a life filled with loves that are just beginning – and loves that will last forever. In other words, I dream of the impossible. When I see lovers in close embrace, I think less of myself or of what I was than of them and what they will become. That’s why I like big cities so much : people come into your life and then disappear, and you never see them grow old. What makes the Parisian streets so fascinating to me is the constant, fleeting presence of these women you see going by at every hour of the day or night, and whom you are almost certain you will never see again. It’s the simple fact that they are there, indifferent, conscious of their charm, satisfied to check it out and see if it works on me, as I am constantly doing with them, as though there were some sort of tacit agreement between us, often without so much as a smile or even a glance. I deeply react to their seductive powers without actually being seduced. I add that none of this in any way affects my relations with Helen. Quite the contrary… I tell myself that these women passing by necessarily prolong my wife’s loveliness. They enrich her through their own beauty and in return receive some parcel of hers. Her beauty is the guarantee of the world’s beauty; and vice versa : when I embrace Helen, I embrace all women. That’s one side of the coin. The other is that I feel life passing me bywhile other lives are unfolding parallel to mine, and I feel frustrated to be a stranger among them, frustrated to not have encountered each of these women, if only for a moment, stopping her in her rush towards God knows what work, or what pleasure. And I dream : I dream that I possess them all.” (l.c. pp. 219220).

“You’re the reason I came home. I didn’t have anything special to tell you ; I just wanted to see you. To see you in the afternoon. We never get to see each other in the afternoon, except on Sunday.” She sits down on the couch. I sit down beside her and put my arm around her shoulders, which are bare. She’s wearing a light, sleeveless summer dress. “To tell the truth, there’s something about afternoons I don’t like. Sometimes I feel upset, full of Angst, afraid to be alone. Have you ever felt that way ?” “It’s strange you mention it, because now that our English nanny takes the children out to the park in the afternoon, on those days when I’m not teaching I feel odd, and somehow lost. I suppose I have to get used to it. It’s also odd to have you here at this time of day.” I start to get up, and she grabs my arm. “No, stay. I’m happy, so happy I can’t tell you”, she says, but her laugh sticks in her throat. “The only thing is, I must look silly.” I hug her tightly, and for a moment we remain locked in close embrace without talking. I’m the one who breaks the silence. “Helen ?” “Yes.” “I’d like to tell you something.” “Ah !” “Why ‘ah’ ?” “I thought you told me you didn’t have anything special to tell me.” “I just thought of it this minute. And anyway, it’s completely silly, and I probably shouldn’t even say it. But here it is : here I am sitting beside you, and you intimidate me. You intimidate me because you’re beautiful. You’ve never been more beautiful, in fact. But you also intimidate me because – and this is even more incomprehensible – I love you. It doesn’t make any sense, does it ?” “No, on the contrary, I understand it very well.” “I tell you because I’m always afraid you’ll mistake my shyness for coldness.” “But I’m the one who’s cold. Much more than you. You’re perfect. I could never love a man who always wanted to pry into my innermost thoughts, even if his intentions were the best.” “Yes, but sometimes I feel bad that I don’t talk you more than I do, that I don’t reveal what I’m thinking and feeling ; whereas there are times when I spend hours talking with people I don’t give a damn about, people with whom I’ll never have any but the most superficial relations. Superficial, or fleeting.” She doesn’t answer me. She’s lowered her head. “Helen ?” I bend down and look into her face, which she’s trying to hide. “Are you crying ?” “No,” she says, turning up to look at me, her eyes still moist, “can’t you see !” And, burying her head in my shoulder, she starts to laugh nervously, but before long it turns into uncontrollable sobs. I caress her bare shoulders, cover her neck with kisses, and slowly the sobs subside. I unhook the back of her dress and slip my hand inside, genly caressing her back. I whisper in her ear, “Are we all alone ?” “Till five o’clock. But let’s go into the bedroom.” (ibid. pp. 250251; the film ends here)

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