Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Goodbye and Happy Birthday

One of my favorite directors - and certainly one of the greatest in cinema history - passed away today. Eric Rohmer had the astonishing skill of composing films which were basically wall-to-wall conversations and making them beautifully, transcendentally cinematic. True, he was helped by the able eye of Nestor Alemendros, but also by an innate understanding of film language and style. I'll confess I've only seen the Six Moral Tales, but on that basis alone he knew how to make talk not just sexy, but cinematic. A few years ago, when Bergman and Antonioni died I wrote that the auteurs' Olympus was suddenly much emptier. Now, with the undisputed master of screen dialogue gone, Olympus is a whole lot quieter too.

On a brighter note, Luise Rainer just celebrated her 100th birthday. Happy birthday, Luise - hopefully the Oscars, which have supposedly axed their honorary awards from the broadcast in a gesture of open contempt for their own history, have enough sense remaining to pay tribute to their oldest winner at this year's ceremony.

1 comment:

Margaret Benbow said...

Thank you for the generous tribute and lovely photo of this fine actress. She really survived everything and everyone, didn't she--including a marriage to Clifford Odets! And her touching O-lan in The Good Earth shines forth with such purity, to this day. Brava Luise!