The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, September 14-20

 my-night-at-mauds

My Night at Maud’s (1969)
Directed by Éric Rohmer
The fourth of the “six moral tales” directed by the oldest member of the Nouvelle Vague marks a shift in perspective and visual style from the third, La collectionneuse: filming in black and white, with a tighter script, here Rohmer not only demonstrates his natural talent for filming conversations, but also for representing them visually even when the characters aren’t speaking. As Jean-Louis (Jean-Louis Trintignant) spends the night with Maud (Françoise Fabian), a temptress widow who tries to break Jean-Louis’s Christian commitment to a woman he’s never talked to, the movements of the eyes, the way arms fold or the way the characters stand and then sit down, or vice-versa, tells a lot more about what they are truly feeling than the long conversations about the existence of God. At times the centerpiece scene mimics a chess game, with Maud and Jean-Louis moving through different rooms of the house, planning quietly, maintaining a certain distance to then advance and make the other flee. Jaime Grijalba (September 17, 25 4:30pm; September 18, 24, 8:45pm as part of the Six Moral Tales at the Film Society of Lincoln Center)

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