French filmmaker Éric Rohmer's films are often notable for their strong female characters, a trend that became more apparent as his career progressed. Between his "Moral Tales" cycle, which often addressed a man having to choose between a "good" woman and a "bad" one, and his later "Comedies and Proverbs," which often centered women characters, a nascent feminist sensibility emerged. This spring, two of those women—Sophie Renoir, star of L'ami de mon amie (1987), and Haydée Politoff, star of La collectionneuse (1967)—join us for evenings of film and conversation.
A bombastic, womanizing art dealer and his painter friend go to a seventeenth-century villa on the Riviera for a relaxing summer getaway, but their idyll is disturbed by the presence of the bohemian Haydée, accused of being a “collector” of men. Éric Rohmer’s first color film, La collectionneuse pushes his Moral Tales series into new, darker realms. Yet it is also a grand showcase for the clever and delectably ironic battle-of-the-sexes repartee (in a witty script written by Rohmer and the three main actors) and luscious, effortless Néstor Almendros cinematography that would define the remainder of the series.
Following the film, actress and cowriter Haydée Politoff joins in discussion with Richard Neer, the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Art History, Cinema and Media Studies, and the College.
(Éric Rohmer, France, 1967, 87 min., DCP)
After collaborating on the screenplay and making her acting debut in Éric Rohmer's La collectionneuse, Haydée Politoff appeared in several films in France, Italy, and the United States, working with directors including Marcel Carné and Edward Dmytryk. She moved to the United States in the late 1970s and retired from acting.
Co-sponsored by the the Department of Cinema and Media Studies.