• He was a literature teacher, a novelist, a magazine editor, and a film critic, but Eric Rohmer, who has died at the age of eighty-nine, will be most remembered, of course, as a filmmaker. And the legacy that Rohmer the auteur leaves behind encompasses even more than just his own formidable body of work; the term Rohmer-esque has been unofficially part of the film lexicon for some time now, most often used to describe philosophical, spare, dialogue-driven films about relationships between men and women (Rohmer’s style can be seen in the work of directors from Arnaud Desplechin and Olivier Assayas to Woody Allen and Richard Linklater). His best-known films of this realist sort include those in the series Six Moral Tales, Comedies and Proverbs, and Tales of the Four Seasons, although Rohmer was also a fascinating formalist when it came to period pieces, whether in his intentionally artificial interpretation of an Arthurian legend, Perceval (1978), or in his technically progressive take on the French Revolution, The Lady and the Duke (2001), an early film to utilize computer-generated imagery for its backdrops.

    Rohmer’s career, which has woven its way from the French New Wave to the digital revolution, has brought joy to movie lovers for six decades, and will undoubtedly continue to do so. In this short clip from a 2006 interview, available as a supplement in Criterion’s Six Moral Tales box set, Rohmer discusses with Barbet Schroeder the unique philosophical sensibility he brought to world cinema.

    Eric Rohmer, 1920–2010 Eric Rohmer, 1920–2010

12 comments

  • By Nate
    January 11, 2010
    07:54 PM

    Good night, sweet prince. R.I.P.
    Reply
  • By Graham Flanagan
    January 11, 2010
    08:55 PM

    Rest in Peace.. For me it doesn't get any better than the first of his SIX MORAL TALES: THE BAKERY GIRL OF MONCEAU. It's one of my favorite films of all time.
    Reply
  • By K1rk
    January 11, 2010
    10:01 PM

    The world seems so much smaller today. Thank you, Mr. Rohmer.
    Reply
  • By KiNo
    January 12, 2010
    12:53 AM

    Merci pour tout... Au revoir, Papa! :( 9
    Reply
  • By Ivan Petrovic
    January 12, 2010
    03:40 AM

    Thank you for everything. Tonight I will honour you by watching Claire's Knee and by having a bottle of wine.
    Reply
  • By Datchery
    January 12, 2010
    06:13 AM

    I came late to Mr. Rohmer, or should I say that cinemas in the 1990s took most Americans nowhere. My first Rohmer film was the masterful Autumn Tale (sadly not available in DVD here, hint hint). I was unaware of a Seasons Tetralogy, nor did I realize that the lead actresses' prior Rohmer work significantly enriched the depth of the story on the screen. None of that mattered. The quietness of the film, the gentle pacing, the quality of the discussions, and the uniqueness of the age of the protagonists all captured my imagination. It was a romance, not magical, but real, much like the earthy wine region where its set. And yet in its honesty, it became all the more magical. The wonder of his films is that gift of creating magic out of apparent plainness. The simple weight of his relationships, always a man, always a woman creating something deep and profound. His most famous artistic tip of the hat will always be his version of Manet's Olympia in Love In The Afternoon. But for me, Rohmer's interplay and sharpness of physical detail will always echo more closely with that of another great French artist, Nicolas Poussin. Both, masters, dancing to the music of time.
    Reply
  • By Alice ritter
    January 12, 2010
    09:46 AM

    Please, Criterion, release "Les nuits de la pleine lune", such a classic!!!
    Reply
  • By claude b.
    January 12, 2010
    12:33 PM

    Vous pouvez reposer en paix votre mission est accomplie et votre nom restera eternellement associe au raffinement et a la Beaute que vous avez apporte au cinema et a nos vies.A tous ses proches je partage votre deuil.
    Reply
  • By David Hollingsworth
    January 12, 2010
    02:41 PM

    Film history has just lost one of its greatest directors/storytellers. It's like one of the brightest stars in the sky has fallen, and it will never be as bright as it was before. But thanks to Criterion, we will be able to enjoy his work forever.
    Reply
  • By David
    January 15, 2010
    05:52 PM

    the moral tales are some of the most beautiful films ever, thank you Mr. Rohmer and Criterion for making them available.
    Reply
  • By Dirk Reed
    January 19, 2010
    03:22 PM

    The Criterion box set provided me a chance to see "My Night at Maud's" for the first time. I was overwhelmed! He was certainly one of my favorite directors of all time. A true sensitive, intelligent master of cinema. I love his films and I will miss him greatly.
    Reply
  • By Joe
    February 26, 2010
    04:05 PM

    Can we please get his full body of work, CRITERION?! Yes, I appreciate what you do have, but there is SO MUCH MORE! I am tired of watching these terrible FOX /LORBER DVD's of some of Rohmer's greatest films. Please, now that he's gone, would you make this a priority?
    Reply