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The least flamboyant member of the French New Wave, Eric Rohmer achieved such a rare consistency of theme and tone that the elegant, erudite features he produced over four decades were instantly recognisable.

Reliant more on gestures and glances than melodramatic actions, Rohmer’s series and stand-alone offerings were witty, astute and compassionate. His gaze rarely veered away from the educated, articulate and somewhat self-obsessed bourgeoisie. As a director of “people who move and speak”, he often dwelt on characters in transit. But the focus invariably fell on the sensation of being alive rather than melodramatic contrivance. Consequently, emotionally vulnerable individuals are required to make momentous decisions about love affairs, careers and vacations and they fret, make mistakes, regret and reach conclusions, as desire collides with reality, morality, caprice and common sense. In other words, Rohmer made films about human beings not movie characters. 

Read more of David Parkinson's indispensible BFI guide to Rohmer for Beginners here.

Central to the distinctive visual appeal of Rohmer's films is his keen eye for colour and clothing. His films, particularly his 80s output, present viewers with a head-turning lookbook of colour palettes and styles, offering much outfit inspiration for fashion fans. Here, Sam Wigley casts an entertaining eye over 80s fashion choices in the films of Eric Rohmer. White jeans and a pastel jumper, anyone?


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