January 11th, 2010
02:48 PM ET
Eric Rohmer, who directed such art-house classics as "Claire's Knee" and "Love in the Afternoon," has died, according to news reports. He was 89.
Rohmer was one of a group of filmmakers, including Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, who created what came to be called "La Nouvelle Vague," the New Wave, French films dominated by jump cuts, hand-held cameras, and a love for Hollywood genres such as film noir. Rohmer - who was born Maurice Henri Joseph Schérer - Truffaut and Godard all wrote for Cahiers du Cinema, the publication that became their manifesto.
But while Godard's films embraced the experimental - sometimes to the point of antagonizing the audience - and Truffaut's showed a love for old Hollywood styles, Rohmer's were often about relationships between small casts of characters, men and women trying to cope with sexual temptation, sometimes with drily comic results.
(For some, too much so: "Kind of like watching paint dry," was what a Gene Hackman character once said of Rohmer's talky films. Editor's note: The previous sentence originally said Hackman said the line, not his "Night Moves" character. We regret the error.)
The filmmaker was beloved by colleagues for his youthful attitude and warm friendships.
Rohmer's other films included "My Night at Maud's," "Pauline at the Beach" and "The Duke and the Lady."
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