Le genou de Claire

I hated the rain. I went over to work and discovered that two people had called in sick, leaving their burdens for the rest of us. I caught a cold and felt miserable with a cough. I went over to the record store and bought two box sets of Hawaii Five-O DVDs for my father to watch. I watched a few minutes of Meredith Vieira trying to make gingerbread cupcakes. She needed to practice the frosting part. I wanted to stick with my plan to finish grading some tests, so I went to the library and took a seat at a big table until I finished everything. Over at Trader Joe’s, I bought some cough drops and chicken soup, and I headed home to watch “Claire’s Knee.” I couldn’t help thinking about Gene Hackman’s comment about Eric Rohmer in “Night Moves.” I liked the first shot of this movie, with the boat on the water. The photography gave a strong sense of the place of this story, which was Lake Annecy. The water, the mountains, and the trees all look clear and impressive. The shimmering water reminded me of Ingmar Bergman and gave a sense of things being unsteady. I thought this was some of the best work by cinematographer Nestor Almendros. It seems like Jérôme is foolish in playing these games with teenagers as if he’s envious of their carefree youth. He certainly doesn’t appear to be a person who does important work all around the world. I wouldn’t go out hiking for three hours with a 16-year-old girl. Laura reminded me a bit of Erin Moran. Based on the days of the week that were mentioned, all of this is taking place during the summer of 1970. I was rather surprised that Laura was still in school in the last days of June. Claire doesn’t appear in the movie until 47 minutes into the picture. I thought the funniest moment was a bit with a glass of lemonade. I wonder whatever happened to Laurence de Monaghan, who played Claire. She was born in 1954. One thing that was rather interesting was the discussion of the differences between the generations. A person who was sixteen in 1970 is a bit older than I am, so the older people in this movie are a bit more distant from me. This is one of those foreign movies with a lot of talking, but one of the few that didn’t seem like it ran too long. I was a bit annoyed that one of the characters was a writer. I found that I didn’t care what was going on in Claire’s mind in all of her adolescence. One point that’s made is that Jérôme still doesn’t understand young women. He’s living with delusions as he is entering his marriage. Is everyone in Rohmer’s movies on vacation? I tried to remember if I ever saw any of his characters doing any work. They talk a lot about relationships and places where they’re going. I tried to think of the last newly released French film that I saw that I liked. I came up empty on that one. It could have been “White” years ago. “Claire’s Knee” was a big success all around the world. Rohmer went on to make films for many more years. His last film, “The Romance of Astrea and Celadon,” was from 2007. Rohmer died on January 11, 2010 at age 89. I am surprised that when I look up Jean-Luc Godard’s name, I see that he is still alive at age 85. I watched the first rerun of “Supergirl” with its Thanksgiving dinner scene. I thought mostly about how Helen Slater and Dean Cain have changed. I wondered how a parent could impose any kind of discipline upon Kara. I heard the news that Charles Woodson is retiring from the Raiders at age 39. That means his last home game will be on Christmas Eve. He still looks like a young man to me. Some of the people who died on December 22 include George Eliot (1880), Nathanael West (1940), Beatrix Potter (1943), Daryl F. Zanuck (1979), Samuel Beckett (1989), Butterfly McQueen (1995), and Joe Strummer (2002). Today is a birthday for Ralph Fiennes (53), Diane Sawyer (70), and Hector Elizondo (79). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for December 22, the Boris Karloff movie “The Mummy” was released in 1932. In 1958, “The Chipmunk Song” by The Chipmunks with David Seville was the Number One single in America. In 1965, “Doctor Zhivago” was released. In 1971, “Dirty Harry” had its premiere in San Francisco.

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