Eric Rohmer: Moral Tales - (Import DVD)
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The collected films from French director Eric Rohmer's six-part 'Moral Tales' cycle, which spans almost a decade from 1963 to 1972. In 'Suzanne's Career' (1963), a young student finds himself consumed by jealousy and resentment over his friend's treatment of a beautiful young woman. In 'The Girl at the Monceau Bakery' (1963), a young man's affections are divided between two women. In 'La Collectioneuse' (1967), two young men are staying in a friend's villa in St Tropez when a young woman comes to stay, invited by the absent owner. She turns out to be a 'collector' of men, sleeping with a different man every night, and the two young men decide to offer her moral counselling. 'My Night at Maud's' (1969) tells the story of a Catholic engineer determined to marry a woman he has seen in church. The eye-opening (and ultimately chaste) night he spends with the independent divorcee Maud robs him of the courage of his convictions. 'Claire's Knee' (1970) details a middle-aged man's passion for his friend's teenage daughter. Holidaying at Lac d'Annecy, diplomat Jerome (Jean-Claude Brialy) meets his old friend Aurora (Aurora Cornu) and accepts a wager in which he must enter into a flirtation with besotted teenager Laura (Beatrice Romand). However, things get more serious when Jerome develops feelings for Laura's sister Claire (Laurence de Monaghan), and begins to focus all his energies upon finding a way to caress the young woman's knee. 'Love in the Afternoon' (1972), the last in the sequence, is a subtle study of love and monogamy. Bernard Verley stars as Frederic, a bourgeois businessman living in the suburbs of Paris with his wife Helene (Francoise Verley), a teacher who is expecting their second child. Their marriage is happy and loving, but Frederic can't stop fantasising about other women. When Chloe (Zouzou), his beautiful ex-girlfriend, returns to Paris after working in America as a model, she starts seeing Frederic again, and they begin to meet in the afternoons on a platonic basis to talk about their lives. Eventually Chloe, who is trapped in a relationship with a man she no longer loves, tries to seduce Frederic, and he is faced with a decision that is both complex and achingly simple.
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