Tale of Springtime... more Rohmer magic...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gary Tooze, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. Gary Tooze

    Gary Tooze Producer

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    Here is my review of Eric Rohmer's "Tale of Springtime"...
    to redd it with the screen captures please CLICK HERE
    by Eric Rohmer
    Review of the film and MGM DVD by Gary W. Tooze
    In acclaimed director Eric Rohmer's first of the "Tales of the Four Seasons" series: 1992's "Tale of Springtime", four characters intertwine in real-life cadence. We are introduced to them, garner their likes, dislikes, demeanors... and then they interact. It's that simple... and that wonderful. Atypical Rohmer.
    At a party, Jeanne and Natacha sit beside each other on a couch and begin to converse. Regardless of their age difference, they immediately develop a rapport that develops a budding friendship. Begin plot.
    We learn of Natacha's family life with separated parents and a dysfunctional relationship with her estranged Mother. She lives with her father and has an unhealthy bias against her fathers current girlfriend, Eve. On the other hand Jeanne is more guarded and divulges only hidden details of the state of her current life. A boyfriend who is away, and a female cousin and beau utilizing her apartment. She curiously relates her dislike of her traveling boyfriends unclean apartment where she has the key to stay but would prefer not to.
    So Jeanne sleeps over at Natacha's home that night and her Father unexpectedly arrives the next morning embarrassingly finding Jeanne recently finished a hot shower. We are teased in believing this to be a foreshadowing of future indiscretions between these characters. Hmmm.. food for thought.
    This film is filled with magnificent outdoor scenes of gardens and forests, as well as atypical Rohmerian French babes. This character-based slice-of-life draws you into it's relaxed atmosphere of realism with perfect affinity. NOTE: I did note one rather unusual aspect of the film that is uncharacteristically Rohmer: the use of background music is pretty taboo, usually making use of only "natural sounds" from the activities occurring onscreen. Rohmer was a director born out of the experimental French New Wave era and has his own very specific criterion for making films: no over utilization of cinematography adaptations such as tracking shots, jump cuts or reverse angles. He feels this spartan cinematic experience subtly conveys to the viewer the ability to identify more closely with the characters and more intimately with the plot and storyline. I agree and "Tale of Springtime" is a prime example with one four minute conversation filmed by one camera with no cutaways or close-ups. However, like Russian cinema icon Andrei Tarkovsky, who was philosophically against music interludes, Rohmer still uses them in this film. The tracks used from the opening scene to various car ride sequences are:
    Beethoven's Sonata #5 in F Major
    Jean Louis Valero's Montmorency Blues
    Schumann's Les Chants de l'aube
    and Etudes symphoniques by Cecile Vigna
    My question: Can anyone tell me any other Rohmer films with augmented background music ? ( two of the above piecess are played - one live - one via a listed to tape ) but the other two are played as audio additions...
    There is a philosophical discussion, a conflict, a rejected lothario advance, a forgiven friendship and a missing necklace mystery solved. In the finale, Jeanne returns to her now vacated apartment greeted with fresh flowers discarding the dying ones left behind. The circle of life completes itself and Eric Rohmer has again titillated my hypothalamus with his subtlety and powerful emotive transference. Not my favorite Rohmer film, but still another noteworthy work from this master auteur.
    Regards,
     
  2. Gary Tooze

    Gary Tooze Producer

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    Due to the overwhelming response to this thread [​IMG]
    I though I would share this quite from Mr. Rohmer regarding my question about him and music...:
    "To put it bluntly, I have to admit that I do not like music. I try very hard to eliminate it from my life and from my films. It irritates me, it annoys me, it tires me, and despite the old saying, it neither improves my morals nor sweetens my temper. I find myself quite at ease in silence. It doesn't oppress me. For this silence, whether among the fields or in a distant street, offers a sound-picture that is "sui generis", revealing just as much about a place as how it smells. Music broadcast in public places is already damnable because it removes some of their personality. But at the same time that it injures its environment, it sins also against itself, in preventing us, by its imposed and superimposed presence, from listening to it as it deserves to be, that is, in a state of complete recollection. Music, for me, is only bearable if you listen to it with the maximum attention, both with mind and
    body." -- Preface to De Mozart en Beethoven
     
  3. Carrol M

    Carrol M Stunt Coordinator

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    I really need to see it. A Tale of Winter and Maud's are two of my favorite's, ever.
    They should, too, get decent dvd releases.
    Based on you're review, I'll hunt it down for rent if possible, Rohmer is like a really nice fine wine with the woman you love... truly magical director.
    Carrol
     

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