My Night at Maud's | Teen Ink

My Night at Maud's

April 23, 2018
By not_skyler BRONZE, Scottsdale, Arizona
not_skyler BRONZE, Scottsdale, Arizona
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Film four out of six in Éric Rohmer’s series Six Moral Tales, “My Night at Maud's” is a great lesson on the power of subtlety in cinema. Rohmer’s film takes place mostly within the span of one night and in one location: the elusive Maud’s apartment. The story begins with the protagonist Jean-Louis bumping into an old friend of his; one thing after another, Jean-Louis finds himself spending his entire night at Maud’s small apartment. Once at Maud’s, the three characters decide to pass time by drinking, cracking jokes, and arguing about the philosophy of mathematician Blaise Pascal. As the film progresses, the conversations begin to subside and the inner desires of each character are revealed.
“My Night at Maud’s” is often shot static, without any close-ups, and features several long philosophical conversations which naturally segway into each subsequent conversation. Each conversation may introduce concepts foreign to most viewers, though each and every viewer can be rest assured that what the characters are actually saying does not ultimately matter in the grand scheme of the film. The conversations are for the most part fluff and are used by the characters to try to hide their most inner thoughts and feelings. This constant game of conversation chess, highlighted by excellent blocking, becomes the drama for this film.
As the film goes on, the viewer begins to find themself psychoanalyzing what each character just said in an effort to figure out the character’s next move. To make the task easier, the minimalistic camerawork and the use of very little musical cues leaves the stage bare and open: exposing the characters for who they are instead of who they try to be. Rohmer’s subtle direction creates a powerful film that is bundled with a sense of authenticity that is not commonly seen and felt in modern cinema. 5/5

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