Claire's Knee

The penultimate entry (1970, 106 min.) in Eric Rohmer's series of “Six Moral Tales,” and the loveliest, most crystalline of the lot. With his serenely precise plot structures and camera placements, Rohmer is the greatest logician of the movies; he treats the mysteries of love as if they were math problems, but with such generous concern that he never betrays the humanity of his characters. And so it is appropriate that the hero of his masterpiece is a man who focuses all his learning—cultural, moral, philosophical—on the apparently trivial problem of whether or not to touch the knee of a teenage girl he has met on a vacation. With Jean-Claude Brialy, Beatrice Romand, and Aurora Cornu.

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