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The ashtrays worry me

Emilie Bickerton: Eric Rohmer

19 March 2015
Eric RohmerBiographie 
by Antoine de Baecque and Noël Herpe.
Stock, 605 pp., €29, January 2014, 978 2 234 07561 0
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Friponnes de porcelaine 
by Eric Rohmer.
Stock, 304 pp., €20, January 2014, 978 2 234 07631 0
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... EricRohmer​ never left things to chance, but he did make use of the unexpected. It’s a paradox we find a lot in his films, and something he practised daily in the double life he lived for more than seventy ...

German Jew

Michael Irwin

17 April 1980
The Missing Years 
by Walter Laqueur.
Weidenfeld, 281 pp., £5.95, March 1980, 0 297 77707 6
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Jack be nimble 
by Nigel Williams.
Secker, 213 pp., £5.50, March 1980, 0 436 57155 2
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Identity Papers 
by Anthony Cronin.
Co-op Books, 194 pp., £4.50, February 1980, 0 905441 23 0
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Narrow Rooms 
by James Purdy.
Black Sheep Books, 185 pp., £5.95, March 1980, 0 906538 60 2
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Six Moral Tales 
by Eric Rohmer, translated by Sabine d’Estrée.
Lorrimer, 252 pp., £4.95, February 1980, 0 85647 075 9
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... doings are sacramental, or something: but the violent images are so plainly there to be relished in their own right that their figurative potential, such as it is, hardly seems worth bothering about. EricRohmer is of course well-known as a film director, but apparently he prefers to sketch out his work in literary form as a first stage. His Six Moral Tales preceded the films that we associate with ...
8 February 1990
Letters 
by François Truffaut, edited by Gilles Jocob, Claude de Givray and Gilbert Adair.
Faber, 589 pp., £17.50, November 1989, 0 571 14121 8
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... One of the high points of this collection of letters is Truffaut’s long and dignified answer to Jean-Louis Bory, a novelist and film critic who had suggested that ‘Truffaut, Chabrol, Demy and Rohmer have sold out to the system.’ The letter is a miniature autobiography, and makes clear that Truffaut’s independence as a filmmaker was hard-won and continuing, that the only ‘system’ he ...
1 August 1985
Immoral Memories 
by Sergei Eisenstein, translated by Herbert Marshall.
Peter Owen, 292 pp., £20, June 1985, 0 7206 0650 0
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A Certain Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema: 1930-1980 
by Robert Ray.
Princeton, 409 pp., £48.50, June 1985, 0 691 04727 8
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Suspects 
by David Thomson.
Secker, 274 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 436 52014 1
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Cahiers du Cinéma. Vol. I: The 1950s. Neo-Realism, Hollywood, New Wave 
edited by Jim Hillier.
Routledge with the British Film Institute, 312 pp., £16.95, March 1985, 0 7100 9620 8
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... writers occasionally fails to do justice to their main interest for many readers: their having gone on to make the films of François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol and EricRohmer. Their polemical stance as critics (with the exception of their brilliant mentor, the metaphysically-inclined André Bazin) was an attempt, ultimately successful, to create the taste by which ...

Oliver’s Riffs

Charles Nicholl

25 July 1991
Talking It Over 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 288 pp., £13.99, July 1991, 0 224 03157 0
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... how pudgily typical of Stuart to choose Jules et Jim as his cultural reference point’ – but the French-cinema allusion is apt for the book. It is not quite Truffaut, but it is certainly rather EricRohmer: another punctilious anatomy of the middle-class heart and its vagaries. The three characters are drawn with the fine nib we have come to expect from Barnes. There is Stuart, the practical ...

In the Library

Inigo Thomas

25 April 2013
... the library. There are faces I recognise from dust jacket photos, but overwhelmingly I know no one at the British Library, and it’s only every now and then that it has a passing resemblance to an EricRohmer suburb where everyone seems to know everyone else and there’s trouble ahead because they do. It is early April, university Easter holiday time, which coincides with the writing of ...

As If

Jonathan Romney: ‘Cahiers du cinéma’

9 September 2010
A Short History of ‘Cahiers du cinéma’ 
by Emilie Bickerton.
Verso, 156 pp., £12.99, March 2010, 978 1 84467 232 5
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... they became film-makers themselves, came to be known as the Nouvelle Vague: François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol and Maurice Schérer, later known by his pseudonym, EricRohmer. By and large, unlike their counterparts on the left-wing journal Positif, the early Cahiers writers were either effectively on the right, like Rohmer, or essentially apolitical in their ...

Fashville

Robert Tashman

9 March 1995
Prêt-à-Porter 
directed by Robert Altman.
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... think of as the distinctive Altman style; he used them in Nashville and elsewhere, but his visual handling in Prêt-à-Porter is more mellow and assured. Although Short Cuts showed that he is no EricRohmer in maintaining interest in numerous scenes that have two or three characters, he is very good at managing large groups of performers and in Prêt-à-Porter he constructs elegant and richly ...
5 March 2015
The Yellow Peril: Dr Fu Manchu & the Rise of Chinaphobia 
by Christopher Frayling.
Thames and Hudson, 360 pp., £24.95, October 2014, 978 0 500 25207 9
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... on key US systems and networks ‘could be a cyber Pearl Harbor’. Cyber-warfare was now assumed to pose a greater threat to national security than terrorism. In May 2014, the attorney general, Eric Holder, announced that criminal charges had been laid against five Chinese military officials accused of hacking into US companies in order to gain trade secrets. In October 2014, as President Obama ...

Diary

Perry Anderson: Forget about Paris

23 January 2014
... Tours. In Stendhal and Flaubert, the narratives of Le Rouge et le noir and Madame Bovary depend on Besançon and Rouen. In the 20th century, cinema has relayed the tradition. The extreme example is EricRohmer, whose Comédies et proverbes and Contes des quatre saisons include settings in Clermont-Ferrand, Annecy, Le Mans, Biarritz, Cergy-Pontoise, Nevers, St Malo. The list, like that of ...

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