Éric Rohmer captures the ache of summertime sadness with exquisite poignancy in this luminous tale of self-exploration, the fifth film in his Comedies and Proverbs cycle. The Jules Verne novel of the same name provides the loose inspiration for the story of Delphine (Marie Rivière), a dreamy, introverted young secretary who, reeling from a breakup with her boyfriend, faces the prospect of spending her summer vacation alone. As she bounces from Cherbourg to the tourist-choked Alps to the sunny beaches of Biarritz, Delphine passes through a whirl of social activity—but remains profoundly alone, as true human connection continually eludes her. As honest a portrait of loneliness, depression, and the longing for understanding as has ever been committed to film, The Green Ray is one of the most piercingly perceptive works by French cinema’s keenest observer of human relationships.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
Four charming comedies from Eric Rohmer.
Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become his stylistically innovative feature debut.
Melvin Van Peebles
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
A triumph at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, the revelatory debut feature from codirectors (and twin brothers) Arie and Chuko Esiri is a heartrending and hopeful portrait of everyday human endurance in Lagos, Nigeria.