Okay, okay, okay. Here’s a dude I love, love, love! Yes, I even brought him up in my film pitch as an influence for my film. Eric Rohmer. What a dude! And by dude I mean maker of brilliance.

Now there are two tangents that I’m going to go off on in terms of ‘mise en scene’ for this guy; colour and sound.

Rohmer was the type of guy to have a colour palette for his films, and he seems to have a thing for greens and blues. Checking out online snapshots of his films, you start to realise just how far he’s taken it, it’s pretty much a lifework’s homage to blue and green. Well, maybe not that intense, but you get my hyperbole.

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Adventure time: lets check this out in one of my all time favourites, the 1987 film, ‘L’ami de mon amie’, or for the non-French speaking of you, ‘My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend’. Throughout the film Rohmer uses colour to pair off the two inter-changeable couples by dressing them in bold shades of either blue or green.

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This is done most noticeably in the final scene of the film when the two couples reveal to each other their secret romances. Standing across from each other the pairs balance each other out, and while I love (SPOILER ALERT!!!) the happy ending for, everyone’s preferred couple, Blanche and Fabien, the constant swapping of colours does suggest that this is just the temporary situation and that these young, wild things could just as easily change their minds.

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Of course you could also see this as Rohmer saying that this is the final switch for the couples, that in this final scene we can see how it ends. I always thought of Blanche and Fabien’s relationship as holding strong, and Lea and Alexandre’s relationship not withstanding. Rohmer also tends to have a ‘silly’ woman and a ‘sensible’ woman, as a viewer we know who to side with and who the one to succeed will be, but could he be saying that neither is necessarily the path to success? This is a film about young people making mistakes, playing with life, I don’t get a feeling of permanent with Eric Rohmer’s films, the characters continue off screen.

Something that I adore about Eric Rohmer’s films is his use of sound. It’s like nothing that I have heard elsewhere; he captures the sounds of a place and makes them a prominent part of the film, creating an extremely naturalistic ambience. There is rarely any music in his films only the sounds of the environment. Through his soundtrack Rohmer brings up familiar sensory and is able to add an extra dimension of reality to transport you to his world.

After doing some research on the matter, I found this:

As always, Rohmer uses real locations, natural light and sound. As they walk and talk in the vineyard (5.25 on) on a windy day, Magali and Isabelle struggle to keep their hair under control, and the wind is clearly audible, as is a passing train. In fact, Stephen reports that in his quest for realism Rohmer will not add any sound not recorded as shot, and he will not voice-over a dialogue to remove background sound.

– Interview with Mary Stephen re making of Conte d’Automne

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As I now know, Rohmer was very secretive person, and was extremely careful about staying out of the spotlight.

Rohmer has always avoided personal publicity, one reason being to remain anonymous while filming in public… he normally shoots with a team of only four people, both to keep costs down and to avoid attracting attention…Most of the time people in the streets imagine that they’re shooting a student film, or a documentary.

– Interview with Mary Stephen re making of Conte d’Automne

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I’ll leave you with this:

“Neither the text of commentaries or the dialogues are the totality of the film – they are things I film, like the landscapes, faces, behaviours and gestures. I show people who move and speak.”

– Eric Rohmer

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