Suzanne's Career (1963) (1963)
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Critic Reviews for Suzanne's Career (1963)
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Audience Reviews for Suzanne's Career (1963)
A minor chapter in a major cycle unique in cinema. Rohmer's Contes Moraux was just getting geared up to speed with that second episode (a short, 54-min movie). Not much to comment: the actors are not particularly cinegenic and do not project enough of their inner selves to match Rohmer's novel and the rest of the suite. The Contes Moraux are thus distinctive not only because of Rohmer's incredibly idiosyncratic approach to cinema, but also due to the striking differences in quality when viewed chronologically. In Suzanne's Career, poor technique (as well as amateurish acting) often distracts the viewer from the story, which in itself is quite interesting in fact. Oh, and don't miss the last few minutes of the movie, where you will be able to watch the very first (uncredited) appearance of Patrick Bauchau in a movie, as Suzanne's final male capture.
Bertrand, a scrawny philosophical student living in Paris, spectates on his egoistic friend's relationship with a naive girl. While discussing European directors with my Dad, he brought up Eric Rohmer and said that he was a great underrated director. Recently my Dad brought home "Eric Rohmer's Six Morale Tales", and out of boredom I watched this one. The acting was generally mediocre, though at times the actors were able to evoke that "hidden scars" emotion or express some sort of underlaying tension. More than anything, the film works as a time capsule from early 1960s Paris and you get the feeling that your actually experiencing the whole loose/college lifestyle that the characters are portraying. Also, it's well photographed and manages to retain astounding atmosphere. The narrative unravels more like a piece of literature than a film, which is why this stands out in a sea of obscure foreign classics. Even though every character comes off as either too mundane or too simple; Bertrand's narration provides a philosophical look at every crack and crevice in their personalities. That being said; it's very slow and there aren't any explosions, shoot-outs, or car chases; but I really enjoyed this one because you could tell that Rohmer is a intelligent person who wants his audience to actually learn something from his film, and all the while proving his passion for film-making. Ultimately, it's a fascinating cinematic endeavor from the Beat Generation. 91/100
Playing off a similar motif as Bakery Girl, but more complex and developed. Again, the moral ambiguity is intriguing, and the literary feel of the piece is palpable. It's interesting that Neil Labute does an interview for this box set, because In the Company of Men definitely came to mind.
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