Summer | Chicago Reader

Summer

Rated R 98 minutes 1986

Eric Rohmer's fifth installment in his "Comedies and Proverbs" cycle is as conversationally obsessed as ever (which is quite all right with me), though as always in Rohmer's ironic universe, talk is less the moral equivalent of action than the rationalizing substitute for it. A jilted secretary pining away the summer in Paris decides to take a vacation on her own; unfortunately, the more she travels the lonelier she becomes as her rationalizing search for the ideal food, the ideal romance, the ideal traveling companion drives her more and more toward narcissistic nullity. I suspect Rohmer sees in his heroine an ironic reflection of his own aesthetic temper—the lighter and airier she gets, the more she threatens to evanesce completely—and at times this 1986 film comes perilously close to duplicating the girl's predicament. Fortunately, there's more to Rohmer's subtle strategy than idle distillations, and the marvelous epiphany at the end provides whatever justification is needed for the precarious formal balancing: it's a moment of emotional complexity and revelation based, appropriately enough, on a trivial optical illusion. With Marie Riviere, Lisa Heredia, Eric Hamm, and an appealingly contentious Beatrice Romand. Also known as The Green Ray.

Film Credits

Director: Eric Rohmer

Writer: Marie Rivere and Eric Rohmer

Producer: Margaret Menegoz

Cast: Marie Riviere, Amira Chemakhi, Lisa Heredia, Basile Gervaise, Virginie Gervaise, Rene Hernandez, Dominique Riviere, Claude Jullien, Alaric Jullien, Laetitia Riviere, Isabelle Riviere, Beatrice Romand, Rosette, Marcello Pezzutto, Irene Skobline, Eric Hamm, Gerard Quere, Julie Quere, Brigitte Poulain, Gerard Leleu, Liliane Leleu, Vanessa Leleu, Huger Foote, Michel Labourre, Paulo, Maria Couto-Palos, Isa Bonnet, Yve Doyhamboure, Paulette Christlein and Carita

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