Monday, January 11, 2010

Director Eric Rohmer dies aged 89

The Guardian:
Eric Rohmer, the French New Wave director known for Ma nuit chez Maud (My Night with Maud), Le genou de Claire (Claire's Knee), and other films about the intricacies of romantic relationships and the dilemmas of modern love, has died. He was 89.

Business Week:
Along with Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut, Rohmer wrote for the avant-garde Cahiers du Cinema and was editor of the film magazine for seven years. He wrote the script for Godard’s first French film, “All the Boys Are Named Patrick.” (It contains a shot of a man reading a French movie magazine with the headline, “French Cinema is Dying Under the Weight of False Legends.”)

The New York Times:
Aesthetically, Mr. Rohmer was perhaps the most conservative member of the group of aggressive young critics who purveyed their writings for publications like Arts and Les Cahiers du Cinéma into careers as filmmakers beginning in the late 1950s. A former novelist and teacher of French and German literature, Mr. Rohmer emphasized the spoken and written word in his films at a time when tastes – thanks in no small part to his own pioneering writing on Alfred Hitchcock and Howard Hawks – had begun to shift from literary adaptations to genre films grounded in strong visual styles.

(NYT: Pierre Verdy/Associated Press)

Le Monde:
Ça prolifique carrière apparaît comme le fruit d'un curieux mélange entre deux principes antagonistes: la sagesse et la folie. La première tient à la manière dont Eric Rohmer a très tôt construit son autonomie artistique en fabriquant des films peu chers qui trouvent leur public, et en créant, dès 1962, une société de production à laquelle s'adosser, Les Films du losange. La seconde tient à une morale de fabrication d'une austérité tout à la fois altière et bricoleuse, un jansénisme de la prise directe couplé à une jouissance effrénée de la liberté ainsi conquise, en compagnie des nombreuses jeunes filles en fleurs qui peuplent ses films. Là réside sans doute le mystère de son cinéma, comme le secret de sa longévité.

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