on Resonance104.4FM FM and on-line
Wednesday March 11th, 8-9pm
Justine Waddell (actor and screenwriter)
Joanna Hogg (curator and film-maker)
Gareth Evans (curator of film at Whitechapel Art Gallery)
Jonathan Romney (critic and film-maker)
Adam Roberts (curator and film-maker)
Who was Marivaux and why does he matter to lovers of Eric Rohmer's superb cinema?
The BFI are just coming to the end of a 2 month orgy of Rohmer - films that are adored by many for their poised dialogue scenes, where heart searching often leads to unexpected discoveries, where the human heart rarely if ever knows itself. Eric Rohmer's characterisations and plotting have been compared to that found in the plays of Marivaux - who straddled the 17th and 18th Centuries, and was best known for the drama he made for the Comédie-Française in Paris.
From his name comes the word 'marivaudage' - which indicates a comedy, with a romantic setting, nuanced dialogue and a concern for fine shades of feeling. This is achieved by means of deft and witty wordplay, perhaps of a rather precious kind. Which all sounds rather like a Rohmer film. This was first suggested by the critic Michel Serceau, although Rohmer resisted this claim in a 1994 Cinema de notre temps edition: Preuves à l'appui (see here)
This radio presentation offers a gathering of film writers, curators, actors and film-makers to read (very informally) through a play by Marivaux and then think about what is revealed - is Marivaux the source of the peculiar and distinctive style that Rohmer offered? The play selected isCareless Vows (originally Les serments indiscrets), translated by John Walters. With many thanks to Methuen.
A preview screening of Rohmer's Le rayon vert (The Green Ray, 1986), currently playing in various venues in a newly restored version, but also available on DVD, is recommended.