Eric Rohmer’s Tales of the Four Seasons (BLU-RAY)

  • $144.99
    Unit price per 
Shipping calculated at checkout.


The seasons may change, but the follies of the heart are constant in this ineffably lovely quartet of films by Eric Rohmer, one of cinema’s most perceptive chroniclers of the pangs and perils of romance. Set throughout France, Tales of the Four Seasons is a cycle to stand alongside the director’s two earlier acclaimed film series, Six Moral Tales and Comedies and Proverbs. By turns comic and melancholic, breezy and richly philosophical, these bittersweet tales of love, longing, and the inevitable misunderstandings that shape human relationships probe the most complex of emotions with the utmost grace.

A Tale of Springtime

In the first film of Tales of the Four Seasons, a burgeoning friendship between philosophy teacher Jeanne (Anne Teyssèdre) and pianist Natacha (Florence Darel) is strained by jealousy, suspicion, and intrigue. Natacha encourages Jeanne to pursue Igor (Hugues Quester), Natacha’s father, in order to supplant Ève (Eloïse Bennett), his young girlfriend, whom Natacha loathes. Natacha’s scheme, however, risks alienating those closest to her as well as entangling Jeanne in the very kind of romantic drama she has vowed to avoid. A Tale of Springtime finds Eric Rohmer in full command of his subtle visual storytelling as he contrasts the brightness of his characters’ Parisian and suburban surroundings with their conflicting desires, ideas, and temperaments.

 A Tale of Winter 

The second Four Seasons tale made by Eric Rohmer is among the most spiritual and emotional films of his storied career. Five years after losing touch with Charles (Frédéric van den Driessche), the love of her life and the father of her young daughter, Félicie (Charlotte Véry) attempts to choose between librarian Loïc (Hervé Furic), who lives in the Parisian suburbs, and hairdresser Maxence (Michel Voletti), who has recently moved to the central French town of 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 and philosophical dimensions.

 A Tale of Summer

According to Eric Rohmer, A Tale of Summer is the most autobiographical film that he made. Based on events from Rohmer’s youth, this installment of Tales of the Four Seasons follows amateur musician Gaspard (Melvil Poupaud) to a seaside resort in Dinard, on the coast of Brittany. There, three women (Amanda Langlet, Gwenaëlle Simon, and Aurélia Nolin) each offer the possibility of romance, but Gaspard’s inability to commit to just one puts all of his chances at love in jeopardy. The film 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.

 A Tale of Autumn

The last entry in the Tales of the Four Seasons tetralogy is a breezy take on the classic American romantic comedies that influenced Eric Rohmer and his French New Wave peers. Set among the golden vineyards of the Rhône Valley, A Tale of Autumn concerns simultaneous schemes to find a new love for the reserved widow and winegrower Magali (Béatrice Romand). Her son’s girlfriend (Alexia Portal) attempts to pair her with a former professor and lover (Didier Sandre), while Magali’s friend Isabelle (Marie Rivière) assumes a false identity in order to lure eligible bachelor Gérald (Alain Libolt). The misunderstandings that follow are pure Rohmer in bringing out the humor in human folly.

FOUR-BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New 2K digital restorations, supervised by cinematographer Diane Baratier and Laurent Schérer, director Eric Rohmer’s son, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks
  • New interview program recorded at Rohmer’s house in Tulle, France, featuring Baratier, producer Françoise Etchegaray, sound engineer Pascal Ribier, and editor Mary Stephen
  • Excerpts of radio interviews with Rohmer conducted by film critics Michel Ciment and Serge Daney
  • Documentary from 2005 on the making of A Tale of Summer, by Etchegaray and Jean-André Fieschi
  • Two short films directed by Rohmer: A Farmer in Montfaucon (1968) and The Kreutzer Sonata (1956)
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translations
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Imogen Sara Smith

    New cover by Polly Dedman