A Summer's Tale

Few directors could say as much with as little as Eric Rohmer. Consider the first emotional climax of A Summer’s Tale (1996): with just two actors, a crew of six, and a hillside trail overlooking a beach, Rohmer creates a sequence of sly humor, slow-burning eroticism, and timeless behavioral insight. Gaspard (Melvil Poupard), a postgraduate student on vacation, has spent about a week in the resort town of Dinard, waiting to be joined by the woman he’s been casually dating. He’s unsure whether to take the relationship further and wants to see her again before making a decision; unfortunately she keeps delaying her arrival. To pass the time, Gaspard takes a series of strolls with Margot (Amanda Langlet), another student, who’s working at her aunt’s restaurant while her boyfriend studies halfway around the world. Their conversations begin innocently but become more intimate each day; Rohmer presents their walks one after another, charting their relationship as one long crescendo of mutual fascination. Continue reading >>