Le Genou de Claire (1970)
Eric Rohmer's fifth of his Six Moral Tales is a talky, intellectually erotic film about Jerome, a man in his late thirties, about to get married, who spends a summer at Lake Annecy with his old friend Aurora, her friend Mme. Walter, and the latter's two teenage girls, Laura and Claire. As Laura is smitten by the mature, experienced man, Jerome himself balances his proclaimed physical self-control with his fascination for female youth in a game of dares orchestrated by the enigmatic writer Aurora. The candid, self-assured openness of Le Genou de Claire could only spring from the French New Wave. It is a tribute to art as such, and film as an art form. The film is without a musical score, but boasts Nestor Almendros' wonderful photography, and Rohmer's discussive, unrestrained thematics of lust and love - across generations, but never while compromising a sense of ethics. Rohmer captures the delicacy of every situation. His film is simple, beautiful and interesting, if ultimately over-analytical. Rohmer favourite Romand is a complete delight as Laura.