Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Eric Rohmer dies

It is interesting that in the day that a big, dumb movie became the 7th highest grossing film in history, the director of small, intelligent movies passes away. Eric Rohmer, the director of such wonderful little movies such as "Claire's Knee", "Pauline at the Beach", "The Green Ray" and "Boyfriends and Girlfriends" died during the weekend.

I discovered his movies years ago, when a small VHS video store near my home started renting his movies, perhaps thinking that they were sexy comedies. Anyway, I fell in love with his type of low key moviemaking right away. I love his ability to create interest based on the smallest, most mundane situations. A man in love with a woman's knee. A woman trying to find happiness while vacationing. Two couples who decide that maybe they should switch partners and find happiness.

When I watch his movies I become as relaxed as the setting of his stories. It is the equivalent of sitting at a quiet beach and listening to people nearby go about their lives. One realizes there is nothing outstanding about them, but one is still interested in how things will turn out. They are movies that stress in a delightful, easygoing way, that the small things are the ones that matter. The word said or unsaid. The small gesture. The short, quick gaze at a young woman's beautiful knee.

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