Saturday, December 09, 2006

Femme de l'aviateur, La

Or, The Aviator's Wife, directed by Eric Rohmer. Rohmer is one of my favorite directors and this is one of my favorite films.

The film's proverb is "It's impossible to think about nothing." One thing I love about Rohmer's films is that you cannot predict where they will go. But I'm always thinking about the dialogue and where it would go. Another thing is his incredible attention to authentic detail about how people talk and how they feel without cliche and without any compromise with reality--Rohmer's reality of course, which I find is very much like the reality that I have experienced.

The story progresses around several photographs discussed throughout the film. The Aviator's wife, incidentally does not appear except in a photograph, but that is all to the point. Everything is a bit off stage in this intriguing drama: love especially is a bit off stage. And yet how all the participants yearn. Rohmer's intriguing little joke is about the aviator's wife. Who is she and what is she like? We can only imagine. And this is right. The woman imagines what the other woman is like, but never really knows unless she meets her.

As we follow this talk we see that Anne's heart is breaking or has broken--and all the while we see her skin as Francois does. She wants to be touched, but not by him. And then she allows him to touch her, but only in comforting gestures, redirecting his hands away from amorous intent. And then she goes out with a man in whom she really has no interest.

Such is life, one might say. Rohmer certainly thinks so.

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