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My Night at Maud's

Saturday, June 27, 2015, 8 p.m., Dryden Theatre

"As Eric Rohmer developed his mature style in the late '60s, he ran into the technical limitations of post-synchronized sound: in 1967’s La Collectionneuse, he fought for aural realism with a Stroheim-like fanaticism, insisting that all dubbed sounds be geographically accurate. It’s not surprising, then, that My Night at Maud’s, Rohmer’s first film using synchronized sound, saw him breakthrough to a new and supple style of filming and editing that is still a model for my filmmaking. Like the three Moral Tales that Rohmer had already filmed, Maud takes as its subject the disjunctures between the worldview of its protagonist (the wonderful Jean-Louis Trintignant) and the entropy of an all-too-real world that refuses to stay within the boundaries that ideology sets for it. But here for the first time Rohmer was able to demonstrate this disjunction with unmediated visual and aural textures. The editing syntax that Rohmer developed uses flexible rhythms that sometimes follow the compelling dialogue and sometimes remain fixed on one half of the room regardless of where the dialogue flows. Without visual splash, Rohmer allocates to himself the flexibility to shift emphasis back and forth effortlessly between the scene’s dramatic values and a documentation of space, ambience, and time passing.” – Dan Sallitt