Eric Rohmer | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 08, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 08, 2016

Eric Rohmer

Eric Rohmer was a French film director and screenwriter and an important figure in French New Wave cinema. He was born in Tulle, France, the son of Lucien and Mathilde Schérer. He studied in History in Paris and received an advanced degree on it. While being a student, Rohmer was also fond of philosophy, literature and theology. He started working as a literature teacher and newspaper reporter after he completed his studies in Paris. In 1946, he published a novel titled “Elizabeth”, under the pen name Gilbert Cordier and soon after he started focusing on movie criticism in 1948 by publishing two articles “Cinema: The Art of Space” and “For a Talking Cinema”. The articles formed the theoretical pillars that would later in his life work as a guide to his criticism and movie-making. 

He then adopted the pseudonym of Eric Rohmer, which is a combination of Erich Von Stroheim, a director's name, and Sax Rohmer, an author's name who is known for the Fu Manchu stories. 

In 1950, Rohmer made his first 16mm short film tittled “Journal d'un Scelerat” and after two years in 1952 he started filming his first feature film “Les Petites Filles Modeles”, which was abandoned before completion. Rohmer kept on making short films throughout the 1950s, cooperating with the likes of Jacques Rivette, Paul Gegauff and Jean-Luc Godard. Later in 1957, he wrote the script for Godard's “Tous les Garcons S'Appellent Patrick”. 

In 1956, Rohmer assumed the role of editor-in-charge of Cahier du Cinema, a position he stayed in for the subsequent seven years. In the year following, he co-wrote “Hitchcock” with Claude Chabrol. The book combined detailed narrative breakdown with tremendous attention to detail. In 1958, he made another short film titled “Veronique et Son Cancre” after which he debuted his first feature film “Le Sign du Lion” in 1959. The picture was unsuccessful due to being low key and slow moving, for which it was not released commercially until 1962, when it failed to recover any money.

In 1963, he left Cahiers and produced a short film with the money from a debuting producer Barbet Shroeder, titled “La Boulangere de Monceau”. This would become the first of the “Six Moral Tales”, on which Rohmer would be focusing in the next ten years. 

Eric Rohmer remained loyal to the theoretical ideals that he developed as a young critic, applying them perfectly and constantly in a career spanning over 50 years. While there has been some criticism on his film for being slow-moving, many others have been entranced by his delicate character studies. Rohmer proved that a director working on the fine lines of mainstream films could produce work of great personality without compromise. On January 11, 2010, he passed away at the age of 89. 


NOTABLE WORKS

1984 Les Nuits de la pleine lune

1981 La Femme de l'aviateur

1978 Perceval le Gallois

1998 Conte d'automne

1970 Le Genou de Claire

1983 Pauline a la Plage

1992 Conte d'hiver

1972 L'Amour l'après-midi

1969 Ma nuit chez Maud

1986 Le Rayon Vert

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