Three short stories chart the effects of chance encounters of the amorous kind in contemporary Paris. In the first, a student, doubtful of her lover's fidelity, is chatted up in a market by a youth who may or may not be a thief; in the second, a teacher's attempts to seduce a woman already in a long-term relationship are both stimulated and frustrated by her feelings about the public places in which they are forced to meet; in the third, an artist playing host to a Swedish visitor decides to ignore her in favour of a woman he follows through the streets to the Picasso Museum. Slight tales, perhaps, but Rohmer turns a seemingly inconsequential confection into yet another of his subtle studies of modern love. What gives this particular piece a lift is that Rohmer shot it so casually, on 16mm and a minimal budget, so it's something of a return to the ideals of the nouvelle vague; and that it's very much a love-letter to Paris. The acute feeling for milieu is not decorative but crucial, in that the relationships we see are profoundly affected by the mood, population and topography of the places in which they develop. Witty, touching, perceptive, this is a film that belies Rohmer's 70-odd years.
Les Rendez-vous de Paris
Cast and crew