The third of Eric Rohmer's films in his celebrated "Six Moral Tales" cycle, La Collectionneuse was also the first of his works to achieve widespread recognition. Typical of the series' satiric, witty stories about the conf... more »lict between instinct and intellect, the story finds a luscious and promiscuous young woman (Haydee Politoff) sleeping with a different man every night on St. Tropez. When her moral health becomes the proprietary concern of two male friends who decline to have sex with her--for her own good, of course--the battle of mind over pure desire becomes harder on the men as passions are invariably aroused. As with Rohmer's Claire's Knee and Chloe in the Afternoon, La Collectionneuse is ultimately more than a literate farce about the folly of too much moral and intellectual certainty. The film subtly, quietly grows into a sublime state of self-reflection, leading us above and beyond the characters' self-involvement into a revealed, wordless transcendence. --Tom Keogh« less
Dermeval Aires Jr. | Brasilia, Brazil | 10/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Eric Rohmer is such a talented movie director; philosophical, simple and so successful in depicting human life even in the murky and intellectualistic XXth century. From his works I have had the chance to see, I find La Collectionneuse the most precious, and must now express my surprise at how incredibly few people who write reviews about this motion picture have noticed its genius.
Perhaps things are so because they have not seen it in the movie theater. Certainly, this Disc is also to join the numerous complaints that the Fox Lorber DVD versions of Rohmer's works have a mediocre technical quality; those who watch La Collectionneuse only on DVD cannot fully behold the marvelous quality of its images, shot in 16mm and standing so impressively on the large movie-screen. It is a dream in silky textures of light and shadow, calmly led towards its climax in a contemplative, delightfully pleasant mood; its pace is even slower than the average Rohmer; who throughout his life has always been acknowledged for great care with details of mis-en-scene, a care which here is astonishing. There is nothing to be added or taken out. The beautiful shots of nature, the atmosphere of 60's and all words and gestures fit together as well as life itself.
The screenplay of La Collectionneuse was written eight-handed by the director and the three main players: Patrick Bauchau, who represents Adrien; Haydee Politoff, after whose name the Collectionneuse herself is named; and the simply unforgettable Daniel Pommereulle, who passed away in the end of 2003 after remaining nearly three decades out of the screen. Pommereulle has a part in this movie that seems never to have been properly called attention to by anyone, at least judging from the material that is available on the internet. I can barely recall any other better, clearer expression of one's character, displayed in a work of fiction at a movie screen. If one takes a look at his life and the sculptures he produced, one will have no doubt that here he does act his own self, Daniel Pommereulle in the film, expressing thus his own real stirrings and emotions. Or, it could be said, with a touch of irony, he does not act at all. He merely surfs the action upon his cues, like a child at play. All others play their parts on a similar mood, the result of which is partly baffling, but prompts a ready empathy on the part of the audience. This is a rare achievement.
Another merit of La Collectionneuse is that it is a thoughtful and subtle flux of conscience, narrated in first person, which does NOT allow a single concession to psychological or psychoanalytic explanation; this makes of it a brave dissenter in its days and increases its depth inestimably: it is a Platonic work of art, and the three prologues at the beginning are already a little portrait of those who are to interact in the course of its scenes. As the last reviewer on this page rightly noted, Sam's sentence, "if I were ... etc ... plus proche de Dieu" is monogramic. Important as it is, this part of the script emerged spontaneously during the making of the scenes: it does not appear in the published screenplay in the Cahiers du Cinéma. Again one finds the same candeur in the scene in which Pommereulle inquires the Italian cook about the next meal, bursting forth: "Pastaciutta!? encora, basta!". This was surely a spontaneous and unexpected scene, too precious not to be added to the final result.
The subtlety of this movie invites the expectator to see it a few times over, and he does not get tired of it. As in the other good works of its director - my favorites are `Conte d'Hiver', `Le Genoud de Claire' and the 2004 prophetic portrait of the `Agente Triple' -, there is a lot to learn from its scenes. First, philosophically, there is a key to Rohmer's messages: the carefully placed watchword `rien', `nothing'. Oh boy, if each time one of his characters said this word, it would really mean what he or she says, there would be no Rohmer stories at all. Secondly, the fact that the intellectual and abstract type of person always ends up thinking he is too good, but then he is overwhelmed, and righteously so, if not by the acts of other more intuitive and passionate characters, then by his own foolish passions. The third comment that can be made draws into the recurrent gender situations: it is usually affirmed that Rohmer's personal mark is the stigma of strong and mysterious women; well, in truth it is not that the female characters are strong, but the male characters are weak and childish. Take for example Loic and Jerome Montcharvin in the two movies mentioned above, along with Adrien. They are perfect examples of twentieth-century eunuchs. And so are others.
On the top of these considerations, and in fact superseding them by large, La Collectionneuse has something more than Rohmer's other works; an inexpressible overflow of the whole on top of the sum of its parts, a fresh simplicity and naiveté that can break one's heart. After all is said and done, it leaves the expectator with the painful longing after the characters portrayed. So real they seem to be. "
Aaaah, la collectionneuse
djhowitzer | 04/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ok. first up, this is heavy duty french art film action. approximatley equivalent in endurance requirement to eg. slacker. and equally rewarding for those who make the effort.
the film focuses on a lazy summer. a young art dealer is staying at a friends south-of-france villa, where he proposes "to do absolutely nothing"
he and the friend pontificate about the lovelife of the artless haide as she sleeps her way around the riviera. their intellectualisation serves to put themselves morally above her - in their minds at least. but haide shows them that they are aiming for something they can never have - while she is often unsatisfied she is more often happy, or at least mildly amused.this is an awesome mood piece - i thouroughly recommend quiet contemplation with your relaxant of choice. top notch"
Rohmer - love him or leave him
Dermeval Aires Jr. | 05/16/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There's no middle ground when it comes to Eric Rohmer films. You either love them or you hate them. If you hate them, there's no sense reviewing them for others. For those of us who love them, maybe we should rate the films on the Rohmer Scale of 1 to 5. "1" for your least favourites and "5" for your most favourites.Having said that, I'd say this is a mid-level Rohmer film. But, still Rohmer, still unexplicably wonderful."
Beautiful, subtle, profound and funny movie
N. Lalonde | Montreal | 01/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of course, if you never liked any of Rohmer's film, this one is not for you. But "La Collectionneuse" is an extremely beautiful, subtle and profound movie. Also a funny one, even if you don't laugh... Rohmer could have made only this single film, and yet would be an important and intriguing director."
Fascinating and subtly profound
B. H. Stewart | Cincinnati, OH United States | 01/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased this DVD mainly to practice my French, determined to disregard the English subtitles. But I found myself so absorbed in the characters and plot that I ended up reading the English to make sure I didn't miss anything. I'll view it again later for the practice. I've always liked Rohmer. His characters are always articulate, eccentric, but oh so human. The women and men in this parable about the meaning of human relationships and our need for other people are all bright and sexy in that unique French way. The setting in the South of France was intoxicating--brilliant splashes of sun, acres of clear, clean beaches and water. The journey of self-discovery for the man in the film was moving and inspiring, as he began to understand that he needed more in his life than to spend his life as a collector, referring to both his work as a collector of antiques and his own promiscuity. He returns from his extended vacation a new man. Don't expect a lot of action here, but a sexy little tale of self-discovery. Not an adult movie, but certainly a movie for adults."