A Summer's Tale (1996)
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For The A.
Rohmer's least seen,
The plot of this 1996 film, newly restored and in its first American theatrical release, seems quaintly simple: On a Brittany beach-town holiday, a moody math student (Melvil Poupaud) waits to meet his girlfriend (Aurélia Nolin), meanwhile making a friend (Amanda Langlet) who wants to set him up with her friend (Gwenaëlle Simon).
The ensuing complications play out as a perfectly minimal farce, with edges planed so smooth as to be almost invisible. Days and moods pass...
After a handful of writers happened to publish novels that depicted Henry James as a character, or paid homage to his work, David Lodge – who was one of them – christened 2004 "the year of James". In the same spirit, it could be said that this is the summer of Eric Rohmer. Some of the season's most prominent films, including Frances Ha, Before Midnight, and Exhibition (which recently opened the Locarno film festival), show the influence of the French director, who died in 2010, and whose lithe and playful work extended the possibilities of a certain kind of small-scale, psychologically curious, dialogue-led drama.
Though Rohmer's name has been invoked whenever films include anything other than exploding fireballs and blood-drenched zombies, it's
"As Delphine, the lonely but defiant Paris secretary at the center of Le Rayon Vert, Marie Rivière creates an emotionally rich portrait of a young woman disappointed in love who transfers her energies into an anxious quest for the ideal summer vacation.
About two-thirds of the way into Conte d'hiver (A Tale of Winter) (1992), Rohmer tips off the origin of his story idea by sending his working-class
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