Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

21 July 2007

Ma Nuit Chez Maud

I guess I don't know anything about Éric Rohmer and his Six Moral Tales series. Rohmer also has a series of films that have to do with the seasons, right? Do other people know about this and I'm just out of the loop?

After I watched Bertolucci's Il Conformista a week or two ago, I thought I would try to catch another movie with the actor Jean-Louis Trintignant. So when I looked for one, I found Ma Nuit Chez Maud (My Night at Maud's). Now, for years in my head I had equated My Night at Maud's with Last Year at Marienbad. I don't know why, but they were the same movie in my head and had been for a long time. (Does anyone else do this? Some people are the exact same person in my head and some movies and books, too. Like Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy. I know what they both look like, but I am always getting the two of them confused. I feel the same way about Red Buttons and Burgess Meredith. They might as well be the same exact person. Is it just me?)

That was a digression, geez. Anyway, I finally saw My Night at Maud's and it's kind of wonderful. It's a movie about talk and how our relationships are built on what we say to one another: the lies we tell and the images we project. Rohmer has crafted the film, too, so that nothing on screen feels alive—or, rather, the audience is completely distanced from the character—until they actually begin to talk to one another. Trintignant is great and I loved his friend in the movie, Antoine Vitez (he's much more my type :-), but the one to love in My Night at Maud's is Maud herself: Françoise Fabian. She's an alluring, beautiful vision: impossible not to dislike even a little (not that you'd want to.) She's mysterious and beguiling and beautiful. The movie is interesting on its own merits, but with Fabian as the star, the movie got under my skin and I began to feel as conflicted as the main character.

I don't know what the other movies in Éric Rohmer's series are about, but I'm going to add them to my queue.

(P.S. I'm on page two hundred of Deathly Hallows and I needed a break. I love Harry. Love Love Love. And Ron, too. Ron is my new favorite.)