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Eric Rohmer's Six Moral Tales

Posted on the 07 September 2015 by Kaiser31083 @andythemovieguy
When the New Wave landed on shores of France and rocked world cinema, Eric Rohmer quietly but intently observed the work of his contemporaries from the Cahiers du Cinema offices where he worked as an editor. There he plotted a series of ostensibly related films, all dealing with a middle class protagonist's responding to a temptress, which were filmed over the period of a decade, and were grouped together as the Six Moral Tales.
Eric Rohmer's Six Moral Tales The Bakery Girl of Monceau (1963) is a short two reeler, simple, offbeat, talky, icy, and beautifully shot, effectively setting the tone for the entire series. Featuring future directors Barbet Schroeder in the lead and Bernard Taverneier as narrator, it tells the story of young attorney who makes increasingly frequent visits to a neighborhood confectionery to encounter the title clerk. *** 1/2 out of **** Eric Rohmer's Six Moral Tales Suzanne's Career (1963) followed, and is an intelligent and incredibly prescient, here detailing a woman coming in between the friendship of two friends, one a skirt chaser the other a bashful introvert. *** 1/2 out of **** Eric Rohmer's Six Moral Tales La Collectionneuse (1967) was the first feature film realeased in the series but was actually intended as the fourth tale, bumped up on the shooting schedule when Rohmer failed to achieve weather effects and postponed My Night with Maud. It tells an idyllically set and beautifully shot story of cruel intellectualism about two friends vacationing on the Riveria who find their vacation impeded by a promiscuous guest.  *** 1/2 out of **** Eric Rohmer's Six Moral Tales My Night with Maud (1969) may be the best known of the lot and is my candidate for the finest realization in an unrivaled program. An uptight intellectual bumps into an old friend around the holidays, is invited for dinner to a recently divorced knock-out's chateu, where the two wind up alone, discussing love and philosophy before getting down to business. Perceptive, crisply filmed, and wonderfully acted *** 1/2 out of **** Eric Rohmer's Six Moral Tales Claire's Knee (1970) involves a diplomat on vacation and awaiting marriage who, while visiting with an ex-lover, becomes obsessed with the idea of caressing his landlady's stepdaughter's knee.  This fifth entry is somewhat creepy, but again retains the film values of its predecessors and remains very watchable *** 1/2 out **** Eric Rohmer's Six Moral Tales Chloe in the Afternoon (1972) concluded the series and, true to form, is involving, low key, and dialog heavy. Its plot revolves around a happily married Parisian lawyer who hopelessly pursues a bohemian seductress. *** 1/2 out of ****

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