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Rabu, 30 Maret 2011

Eric Rohmer - La Femme de l'Aviateur AKA The Aviator's Wife [+Extras] (1981)

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Synopsis
In this first film in Eric Rohmer's cycle of "Comédies et proverbes," François (Philippe Marlaud), a young student working nights as a postman, is in love with a slightly older woman, Anne (Marie Rivière). One day, he sees Anne's former lover, a pilot named Christian (Mathieu Carrière), leaving Anne's apartment in the morning. Despite Anne's explanation that Christian is now married to another woman and simply dropped by to talk, François becomes jealous. He starts spying on Christian in order to find out if his rival secretly sees Anne. Though François sees Christian meeting a different woman, he keeps following the pair. His pursuit leads him to a park where he meets up with a vivacious teenage girl named Lucie (Anne-Laure Meury), who becomes curious about his motives and agrees to help him in his detection.
~ Yuri German, All Movie Guide

Review
'Aviator's Wife' of Rohmer
Early one Parisian morning, two men arrive within minutes of each other to leave notes beneath the same woman's door. The first man, 20-year-old Francois (the late Philippe Marlaud), is so much in love with 25-year-old Anne (Marie Riviere) that he has arranged for a plumber to come fix her leaky faucet; that's what his note says. The second man, considerably older, is Anne's long-absent lover, Christian. He has arrived to tell Anne that he has had a reconciliation with his wife, who is now pregnant, and that their affair must end. Christian is a pilot, which is more or less how Eric Rohmer's latest film, ''The Aviator's Wife,'' gets its title.
Francois spies the pilot leaving Anne's apartment and trails him later that afternoon. While following Christian and an unidentified woman to a park, Francois meets Lucie (Anne-Laure Meury), a 15-yearold schoolgirl as effervescent and hopeful as Anne is discouraged. The single day that the film spans becomes a round-robin of jealousy, coincidence, missed opportunity and unrequited affection.
Lucie is drawn to Francois, but Francois is drawn to Anne, who mourns the loss of Christian. Some of these characters work the night shift; others work by day. Each suggests a different stage of development, and a different set of needs and possibilities. Every action seems to be mirrored elsewhere in the tale.
''The Aviator's Wife'' marks the beginning of a new series of Rohmer films, this one to be entitled ''Comedies and Proverbs.'' One difference between these and his ''Six Moral Tales,'' if ''The Aviator's Wife'' is a good indication of what will follow, is that issues are presented in far more mundane terms. As Mr. Rohmer himself explains it: ''There will still be a lot of talking in these 'Comedies,' but more in terms of questioning the reality of the possibility of such an event rather than in terms of analyzing or weighing its motives. It is less a matter of defining a moral attitude than it is of defining practical rules. The means, and not the ends, will be debated.''
So there is much talk in ''The Aviator's Wife,'' but seldom does it specifically address philosophical or moral matters; instead, the characters define themselves practically, and express their fears and wishes in a relatively simple fashion. This pragmatism doesn't necessarily foster clarity, however. If anything, it makes the material seem thin.
The fine points of ''The Aviator's Wife'' have been set forth with obvious care, so that Anne's leaky sink or her bowl of goldfish or her unkempt coiffure (there is considerable discussion about why her hair never looks right) can become objects demanding attention. But without the presence of a larger argument, these sorts of facts can seem less emblematic than petty. ''The Aviator's Wife'' is no less preoccupied with serious moral concerns than Mr. Rohmer's other films. But the deceptive simplicity of the director's current technique robs the film of a larger perspective.
Mr. Rohmer doesn't work comfortably with minutiae, and the ''comedy'' of the series title is misleading. Too often, he finds no easy way to set his concerns in bold relief, and the film takes on the texture of undifferentiated discussion. It's a problem of emphasis, not of content, for the issues on hand in ''The Aviator's Wife'' are very much those with which Mr. Rohmer has been steadily preoccupied.
The actors in ''The Aviator's Wife'' fit smoothly into the film's scheme, and the occasional droning quality of their talk has more to do with extended closeups and a long-winded screenplay than with the performances. Miss Meury is particularly sunny, even more so than the story needs her to be, and the film picks up considerable energy during the long outdoor sequence in which she helps Francois play sleuth. Miss Riviere is able to make Anne selfish, glum and still not unsympathetic, which cannot have been easy. Mr. Marlaud, who also appeared in another Film Festival selection, ''Passe Ton Bac D'Abord,'' was quite promising in both films. The production notes say he was killed in a camping accident this past summer.
by Janet Maslin, 07.10.1981, New York Times

Extras
* Eric Rohmer talks about the film
* Theatratical Trailer

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Language:French
Subtitles: English (Srt+Vobsub)

pass:www.worldscinema.com

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