LE GENOU DE CLAIRE, 1970
In Claire’s Knee, Jean-Claude Brialy plays a diplomat named Jerome, who agrees to house-sit a friend’s rural home for a month. Jerome seems content with his life, having just recently become engaged to Lucinde, a woman he’s known for six years. He takes refuge in the fact that she is his opposite, and even though they don’t match very well, he calms any doubts he has by reminding himself that “a woman made for me would bore me.” Into Jerome’s predictable, well-ordered life come two teenage girls who threaten his faithful but passionless love for his fiancée. This movie is a lucid philosophical tale about the existence of “free-will”… mostly set outdoors in the melancholic scenery of Lac d’Annecy, France.
Plot is clearly not Rohmer’s foremost concern, and it stays minimal. It is the thoughts and emotions of his characters (and the situations they find themselves in) that are essential to Rohmer, and his films remain so subtle that even those who love his cinema are baffled to explain what it is about his films which is so fascinating….but fascinating they are.
Claire’s Knee was shot by the brilliant cinematographer Nestor Almendros (Days of Heaven), and his photography on this film is simple, but absolutely magical. It’s a lush Monet on celluloid, and its visual prowess combined with its provocative theme, earned this film the Film Critics’ Best Film prize in 1971.
This will be a high-definition screening.