Pauline à la plage
Pauline, 15 years old, is going with her cousin Marion at Granville to spend the rest of her summer vacation at the Beach. This coming of age story is one of Rohmer’s most famous film. The fact that it depicts the summer vacation of two young women and especially the nakedness of the steamy body of Marion may have a certain attraction to the audience. However, Rohmer’s approach to adult relationships, their love affairs and sexual intercourses represents many of his favourite elements to work with in his most successful plots.
In the case of Pauline à la plage, Pauline is the witness of the many intercourses and visions of the adults about love and how they want it, perceive it, and deal with it. On one side you have the recently divorced Marion who cannot love her husband because she knows him too well and she needs to be burning of love. On the other side you have Pierre who’s deeply in love with Marion and who is her masculine reflection. He prefers to fall in love a person he knows and he can trust, a person who is familiar and reliable. Opposed to him Henri, Marion’s other pretendant and the one she will fall for is the representation of the libertine always ready to charm a new woman and be free of obligations and fidelity. Pauline will also have an adventure be she will learn more from the many intercourse between the adults around her. Rohmer represented the adults in their relationships like people who don’t know how to act and react to the confrontations and how they can hurt others and especially themselves. It seems like if everyone isn’t with the right person and how when on a vacation a person you don’t have anything in common can attract you just because it is something new or different. Well, we people go in vacation they want to be disoriented not only by the scenery or from their normal lives but also by the people that surrounds them. It is really clear that Marion is still looking for what she is and what she wants. At the same time, Pauline knows exactly what she wants.
I kind of liked the breezy feeling of the film and even if some scenes sound false the rhythm feels right. As Rohmer always did there are not a sparse scene or a useless technique used. Minimalist and simple are his films and it makes them efficient and easy to catch at the first glimpse.