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The multifaceted, deeply personal dramatic universe of Eric Rohmer has had an effect on cinema unlike any other. A succession of jousts between fragile men and the women who tempt them, the Six Moral Tales unleashed onto the film world a new voice, one that was at once sexy, philosophical, modern, daring, nonjudgmental, and liberating. Includes: The Bakery Girl of Monceau, Suzanne's Career, My Night at Maud's, La collectionneuse, Claire's Knee, and Love in the Afternoon.
Audiences love or hate the films of Eric Rohmer. The magnificent Criterion set of the French director's Six Moral Tales, his first film cycle, contains the films that first brought Rohmer to international attention--particularly My Night at Maud's, Claire's Knee, andLove in the Afternoon--in gorgeous film-to-dvd transfers, accompanied by a bounty of short films and other extras. Watching any of these films, even the short features that begin the series (The Bakery Girl of Monceau and Suzanne's Career), you will discover if Rohmer is for you. To some, his examinations of social mores and the psychology of love are absorbing, subtle, and sublime; to others, they're meandering, talky, and flat. But even his detractors must acknowledge that Rohmer draws out the twists of joy and anguish, brief and ephemeral, that haunt lovers as they grope towards security and happiness; and though his visual approach is rigorously simple, his images--thanks to cinematographer Nestor Almendros--are luminous.
The Bakery Girl..., only 23 minutes long, has all the basic elements: A man, infatuated with one woman, flirts with another, all the while comforting himself with self-serving rationalizations and a comic lack of self-knowledge. This film's simplicity makes it more charming and satisfying than the more awkward efforts of Rohmer's next two films, Suzanne's Career (about a student who idolizes a callous older boy and only too late realizes that the girl they've been mocking may have a better grasp on life) and La collectioneusse (about a love triangle at a countryside estate; oddly, though released two years before the next film, it's presented as the fourth in the series), though each has moments of insight and delight. The remaining three movies are masterpieces: In My Night at Maud's, a Catholic engineer (the superb Jean-Louis Trintignant, Three Colors: Red) wrestles with his morals and his desires while spending the night with the enigmatic and alluring Maud (Francoise Fabian, 5 x 2). Claire's Knee gently mocks Les Liaisons Dangereuse as a man about to be married is goaded by a female friend into pursuing an infatuation with a young nubile nymph. And the last of the series, Love in the Afternoon (also known as Chloe in the Afternoon) follows a husband whose unconsummated affair with an old friend almost capsizes his happy marriage. What's most remarkable about this series is that, though each has virtually the same plot, watching all of these films in close succession only highlights their intricate differences and the complex shadings of delusion and yearning. Rohmer's work grows more fascinating the more familiar his methods become. Some filmgoers consider "nuance" code for "boring," but anyone who finds the collision of hearts and minds more exciting than car crashes will find Six Moral Tales revelatory and rewarding. --Bret FetzerSee all Editorial Reviews
The series of films, the accompanying book of stories by Rohmer which was the basis for the films, and their presentation is a fine example of Criterion's work. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Alexander J. De Santis
For those who find it useful, the six films and their production order is:
1. The Bakery Girl of Monceau (1963).
2. Suzanne's Career (1963)
3. Read more
we get to what folks did when the world had done gone modern but survived just fine that time without cell phones, message machines, and digital diversions in coy, canny, and... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Russell E. Scott
don't understand the appeal of Rohmer. his films are dry, cold, stiff and didactic. it's like he asked his actors to act like mannequins (English sense). Read morePublished on February 23, 2011 by vta
While not all the films in this collection are equally splendid, there's enough here to keep the interest and show the fruits of marriage between brilliant acting and splendid... Read morePublished on February 24, 2010 by A. J. Stavsky
This collection of the Six Moral Tales is as near to a perfect assemblage and presentation as I've ever encountered. Read morePublished on January 30, 2010 by Nick
$70+ is a good price for this box. It contains six movies: the four most important (Claire's knee, La Collectionneuse, Love in the afternoon and My night at Maud's) and two early... Read morePublished on June 23, 2008 by MarkusG
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