Wednesday 1 January 2020

A New Film a Day in 2020 (1) - LES RENDEZ-VOUS DE PARIS (Eric Rohmer, France, 1995)

New Years Day viewing when the power came on after 30 hours of candle-lit darkness, a slowly warming freezer and a day where the sand was too hot to walk on at Gannet Beach Bawley Point.

A film to take you back to 1959 when the New Wave told us what it was like to be young and carefree and worried about love. In order, JULES AND JIM, LES COUSINS, SHOOT THE PIANIST, ADIEU PHILIPPINE, LOLA and those early little comedies by Philippe De Broca which we confused for New Wave movies.

Three stories which may or may not have been shot with the idea of turning them into a feature. The five young women in the three stories are all drop dead gorgeous, the young men mostly so though you would never say the lead in the second story Serge Renko was an oil painting. He plays opposite Aurore Rauscher and the only question remaining after viewing this one is "Whatever happened to Aurore Rauscher?" Luminosity leaps from the screen, an aura of future stardom emerges. Yet IMDb says this was her only film

Aurore Rauscher
As usual the Rohmer tropes of trick endings and bizarre comeuppances are to the fore, none more so in the first story about the lost wallet and the complications it causes. You feel very sorry for the young man who has turned up for his date full of hope. But life has moved on... Of course the second story when a young wife is liberated from both her errant husband and the near puppy like boyfriend in one fell swoop is similarly brilliant.

Among the least known of Rohmer's films, the Blu-ray transfer is superb and the film a gem which literally transports you back 36 years to the days when the French cinema briefly liberated itself from the studio and the literary.

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