Kate MacKay is the curator of a retrospective of the Four Seasons cycle of films by the great French New Wave director Eric Rohmer, streaming on the BAM/PFA website through July 28, 2021. She talks about the films and about Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive’s year during the Covid shutdown with host Richard Wolinsky.
Eric Rohmer (1920-2010) was one of the contributors of the magazine Cahiers du Cinema, along with Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard and was one of the founders of the French New Wave. His success came later than that of his colleagues, finally arriving in 1969 with My Night at Maud’s, and continued both commercially and artistically into the 21st Century.
The films streaming in this Tales of the Four Seasons cycle, A Tale of Springtime, A Winter’s Tale, Summer Tale and A Tale of Autumn were all filmed between 1990 and 1998 when Rohmer was into his seventies. Despite that, the films all feel like the work of a young independent film-maker, and not an old master. Eric Rohmer Wikipedia page.
Kate MacKay has been as Associate Curator of Film since 2016, and has programmed several film retrospectives over the course of her career in Berkeley and previously in Toronto.
This brilliant and incisive essay by Richard Brody from the New Yorker discusses the four films, and Rohmer.
(cover page photo from Summer Tale, Janus Films)