Éric Rohmer’s Moral Tales

The plan:

To experience together seven of the inventive, profound, searching, and sometimes skewering films of Éric Rohmer (1920-2010), the last great director of French cinema’s “New Wave.” Though he remained a faithful Catholic throughout his life, Rohmer never let his art lapse into the drearily dogmatic; but he drew some of the tradition’s great thinkers (notably Blaise Pascal) and great artistic creations (notably the legend of the Holy Grail) while examining very real and very intimate relationships among persons in the sex-crazed society of the Sixties.


Venue & Logistics:

All discussions for this group will be hosted online via Zoom. All the films can be obtained and viewed at low cost ($6-$7 each) either on DVD or through an online subscription service; your convener will provide details.


Every other week, 1 hour and 15 minutes each time. Participants will view one film before each session; in some cases, short readings from Rohmer (including his manifesto “For a Talking Cinema”) and from Rohmer’s medieval and early-modern sources will accompany.

Beginning & Meeting times:

Early September; meeting times TBD in accord with group needs, so please contact the convener ASAP to register your interest and preferences, if any.

The Films:

We’ll begin with Perceval le Gallois, Rohmer’s 1978 adaptation, starring a young and foolish Fabrice Luchini, of Chrétien de Troyes’ twelfth-century tale of the Holy Grail. We then move back a decade to dive into Rohmer’s longest sustained project, a series of Six Moral Tales, put forward in one feature film each – several of which (including My Night at Maud’s and Claire’s Knee) received lauds at Cannes, were nominated for Oscars, and have become acknowledged monuments of the film repertoire.


As elsewhere, you are welcome to come to as many, or as few, meetings as desired - which means for this group that you can join for one or two of the films, or come along for the full ride.