Tales of the Four Seasons
Last day Thursday, April 15.
- Pricing: You can buy tickets for each of the four films individually or combined as a bundle. Members, use your discount code to purchase individual tickets for $9 each. Buying each film individually is the best deal for Members. For non-Members, individual tickets cost $12 and the bundle costs $40.
- Platform: AmherstCinemaAtHome.org
- Watch window per program: 30 days to start watching, 2 days to finish once started
- How to watch: Through the internet browser on your computer, tablet, or smart phone
Tales of the Four Seasons was the final film series by Eric Rohmer, previously responsible for two of cinema’s most famous cycles: Six Moral Tales, and Comedies and Proverbs. Set in different locations within France, each installment of Four Seasons—A TALE OF SPRINGTIME (1990), A TALE OF WINTER (1992), A TALE OF SUMMER (1996), and A TALE OF AUTUMN (1998)—presents with compelling drama and deft humor a variation on Rohmer’s signature thematic preoccupations: the frustration of romantic desire, the difficulty of communication, and the necessity of maintaining faith and ethical integrity in conflicts wrought by pride, ego, or misunderstanding.
Don't miss these essential entries from one of France's great auteurs, newly restored by Janus Films.
108 minutes. French with subtitles. 1990.
A burgeoning friendship between philosophy teacher Jeanne and pianist Natacha is strained by jealousy, suspicion, and intrigue. Natacha encourages Jeanne to pursue the former's father, Igor, in order to supplant Eve, the young girlfriend Natacha loathes. Natacha’s scheme, however, risks alienating those closest to her as well as entangling Jeanne in a romantic drama she has vowed to avoid.
A TALE OF SPRINGTIME demonstrates Rohmer in full command of subtle visual storytelling as he contrasts the brightness of his characters’ Parisian and suburban surroundings with their conflicting desires, ideas, and temperaments.
114 minutes. French with subtitles. 1992.
This second installment of Tales of the Four Seasons is among the most spiritual and emotional films of Rohmer’s storied career. Five years after losing touch with Charles, the love of her life and the father of her young daughter, Félicie attempts to choose between librarian Loïc, who lives in the Parisian suburbs, or hairdresser Maxence, who has recently moved to Nevers. In the midst of indecision Félicie holds to an undying faith that a miracle will reunite her with Charles, a faith that Rohmer examines in all of its religious dimensions and philosophical ramifications.
113 minutes. French with subtitles. 1996.
According to Rohmer, A TALE OF SUMMER is his “most personal vehicle.” Based on events from Rohmer’s youth, the film follows amateur musician Gaspard to a seaside resort in Dinard, on the coast of Brittany. There three women each offer the possibility of romance, but Gaspard’s inability to commit to just one places all of his chances at love in jeopardy. SUMMER features Rohmer’s wistful observations on indecisiveness and the fickle nature of desire, as brought to life by a talented young cast in a picturesque setting.
112 minutes. French with subtitles. 1998.
The concluding installment of the tetralogy is a breezy take on the classic American romantic comedies that influenced Rohmer and his New Wave peers. Set in the Rhône Valley and taking full advantage of its golden vineyards, A TALE OF AUTUMN concerns simultaneous schemes to find a new love for reserved winegrower and widow Magali. While Magali’s son’s girlfriend attempts to pair her with a former professor and lover, Magali’s friend Isabelle assumes a false identity in order to bait eligible bachelor Gérald. The misunderstandings that follow are pure Rohmer in revealing the humor of human folly and foible.