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Éric Rohmer: A Biography

Antoine de Baecque and Noël Herpe | Translated by Steven Rendall and Lisa Neal | Columbia University Press | June 14, 2016

The director of twenty-five films, including My Night at Maud's (1969), which was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award, and the editor in chief of Cahiers du cinéma from 1957 to 1963, Éric Rohmer set the terms by which people watched, made, and thought about cinema for decades. Such brilliance does not develop in a vacuum, and Rohmer cultivated a fascinating network of friends, colleagues, and industry contacts that kept his outlook sharp and propelled his work forward. Despite his privacy, he cared deeply about politics, religion, culture, and fostering a public appreciation of the medium he loved.

This exhaustive biography uses personal archives and interviews to enrich our knowledge of Rohmer's public achievements and lesser known interests and relations. The filmmaker kept in close communication with his contemporaries and competitors: François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, and Jacques Rivette. He held a paradoxical fascination with royalist politics, the fate of the environment, Catholicism, classical music, and the French nightclub scene, and his films were regularly featured at New York and Los Angeles film festivals. Despite an austere approach to life, Rohmer had a voracious appetite for art, culture, and intellectual debate captured vividly in this definitive volume.

Antoine de Baecque is a professor of the history of cinema at the University of Nanterre. He has published biographies of François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard and was editor in chief of Cahiers du cinema.

Noël Herpe is a senior lecturer at the Université de Paris VIII. He has published works on René Clair and Sacha Guitry, as well as a book of interviews with Éric Rohmer about his text Le Celluloïd et le Marbre.

 

"In this remarkably dense and absorbing biography, de Baecque (Truffaut: A Biography) and Herpe (René Clair) attempt the difficult task of unmasking Rohmer, and they succeed with aplomb ... The book will foster a renewed appreciation of a complex artist and the remarkable body of work he left behind."--Publisher's Weekly

More information is available on the publisher's website.

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