Director Richard Misek presents a loving jigsaw of Eric Rohmer’s work that is sure to satisfy any French nu-wave cinephile.
Compiled almost entirely of clips from Rohmer’s back catalogue and edited together with Misek’s own obsessive narration, we get a true sense of what it is to be a cinephile. Misek’s own obsession with Rohmer came about purely by chance when he was accidentally caught on camera during the filming of ‘Rendezvous in Paris’ in 1995 where his own life mimicked the storyline of Rohmer’s characters, as he too was caught up in an illicit affair. This chance meeting is what sparked his interest and inspired him to watch Rohmer’s entire life’s work.
Misek views Rohmer’s films as intrinsically entwined with the city of Paris and he observes Rohmer’s characters walking the boulevards and making diversions to suburbs, but always returning to the city. What Misek reveals through his pain staking attention to detail is that Rohmer could never separate himself from the city, it is where he was reborn, from Maurice Henri Joseph Schérer to his pseudonym Eric Rohmer. It’s where he learnt his craft as a filmmaker, starting off as a film critic as part of the legendary ‘Nouevlle Vague’ with friends such as Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut, deep in the heart of the bohemian Latin district. It’s a connection Misek claim’s was Rohmer’s ‘creative womb,’ one he never really escaped.
Within this critical analysis of Rohmer’s work we become familiar with Misek’s own personal journey, he laments the fact that Rohmer passed away six months into the making of his film, and he longs for another meeting with him where they would re-trace Rohmer’s favourite Parisian locations. What is striking about this film is the extent of Misek’s love for Rohmer’s work. Misek has unearthed an impressive collection of hundreds if not thousands of Rohmer shots. From shots of hotels to cafés and train journeys, he views Rohmer as his muse, like one of his characters Misek is constantly glancing at Rohmer but never having that glance returned, never holding his gaze.
This is a truly impressive journey through the work of Eric Rohmer, one that any fan, or cinephile, would happily embark on.
Produced, directed, written and edited by Richard Misek.
Written by Will Harper.