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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Six Moral Reviews: considering Rohmer

The epochal Criterion edition of Eric Rohmer‘s Six Moral Tales is under the microscope. First, in Slate, Stephen Metcalf says that he’s realized Rohmer’s his favorite auteur,  Jean-Marie Maurice Scherer_5345.jpg writing also, “The default state of mankind is bullshitting, or the foisting of our self-deceptions onto others. For Rohmer, film was a uniquely apt way of putting this fact before an audience, though he did so without a tincture of contempt, either for the elaborate evasions themselves, some of which… are quite beautiful, or for the animal need being evaded by all the persiflage. Rohmer, a late bloomer, coffret_235.jpghad started out a teacher and a critic, and by the time he ceded his life to making movies, he was well into his 40s. He once described his method this way: “When filming, it’s usually: ‘Camera,’ then ‘Clapper,’ then ‘Action.’ I did the opposite. First I said, ‘Action!’ Then if it was going well I tapped the cameraman and he started filming.” He is still a vigorous presence in international film at the age of 86, thanks to a very Rohmerian contradiction: His love of people and ideas has always exceeded any affection he may or may not have for the monomaniacal cult known as “cinema.” More: At Senses of Cinema, Tamara Tracz offers a career summary. A selection of brisk thoughts on Rohmer from the likes fo Adrian Martin and Philippa Hawker is here. Click here for the 1978 National Film Theater retrospective brochure. And of course, here’s the Criterion page on the boxed set.

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BLOOM
There cannot be a human being who has fewer thoughts on the whole question of word processing than I do. I’ve never even seen a word processor. I am hopelessly archaic. For me the typewriter hasn’t even been invented yet, so how can I speak to this matter? I protest! A man who has never learned to type is not going to be able to add anything to this debate. As far as I’m concerned, computers have as much to do with literature as space travel, perhaps much less. I can only write with a ballpoint pen, with a Rolling Writer, they’re called, a black Rolling Writer on a lined yellow legal pad on a certain kind of clipboard. And then someone else types it.

INTERVIEWER
And someone else edits?

BLOOM
No one edits. I edit. I refuse to be edited.

INTERVIEWER
Do you revise much?

BLOOM
Sometimes, but not often.
~ Harold Bloom

“So, what does it look like when he leaves the show? First, it looks like a ratings spike, and I had a nice chuckle about that. But the truth is, the ink wasn’t even dry on his exit papers before they rushed in a new guy. I was on vacation in Sicily, decompressing — it was a long working relationship and it was a tumultuous end and I needed a moment to just chill with some rosé — and they’re calling me, going, ‘What do you think of this guy?’ ‘What do you think of this guy?’ And they’re sending pictures. I was like, ‘Are you people fucking nuts? Why do you feel that you have to replace this person?’ I couldn’t believe how fast the studio and the network felt like they had to get a penis in there.”
Ellen Pompeo