Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The death of Eric Rohmer brought poignant memories of just how thrilling his movies seemed the first time they played here: "My Night at Maud's" just seemed so radical, because it seemed conventional, but only seemed, the continual shifting of perspectives and the piercing conversations were crystalline and so fine-tuned. And how refreshing it seemed! To have a movie in which adults acted like adults, and talked like adults! And how intelligent and how witty were that talk.

In a way, Rohmer was very much like Ozu, in that he was a filmmaker who continually crafted his little bit of ivory until it was gleaming. I believe that Richard Corliss said, in his obit in Time Magazine, that Rohmer was not someone who made masterpieces. But that's assuming that masterpieces are huge, sprawling, overreaching works. But there is also the classical tradition, in which the goal is a perfection of form and content, in which whatever aims and themes of the work are prefectly achieved and expressed, in which everything coheres in absolute formal perfection. And in that case, there are several works of Rohmer's which qualify. Certainly, Rohmer was a master of his domain, and why shouldn't that be enough?


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