As I’m using the BFI player on Prime to scoop up Eric Rohmer films I’ve not previously seen I watched ‘L'Arbre, le maire et la médiathèque’ (The Tree, the Mayor and the Mediacentre) at le weekend (the weekend).
This flick is from 1993, and of course it’s pure perfection - it’s Rohmer! But quite unlike anything of his I’ve seen before. It must have been made for about ten centimes, it’s a real hodgepodge of styles, and rather than delicately unravelling the essences of romance and relationships he whips up a verdant froth about provincial French politics and land management.
All the Rohmer regulars are in it, and you can tell they are having a ball with the script which is just the right side of silly nothing, and as a consequence tells everything...so I guess they’re in standard Rohmer territory working up something from thin air. But he whirls everything into a spin with static shots of salad leaves, contrived coincidences and documentary vox pops, a good old singsong, delicious chapter intros, exquisitely ponderous country exteriors and city interiors...as I said, it’s perfect.
I implore everyone to watch this stunning film. If you’ve not seen any Rohmer flicks before it’s probably not the best one to start with, but if you like something thoroughly French it’s a pure treat. Or just movies, for that matter.