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The Green Ray

aka Summer (Le rayon vert)
France 1986. Dir: Eric Rohmer. 96 min. DCP

Summer à la Eric Rohmer is a guarantee of brilliance. Made three years after Pauline at the Beach (and originally released in North America as Summer), The Green Ray epitomizes the wondrous talents of the late, great director. Rohmer’s tale, the fifth in his Comedies and Proverbs cycle, takes its operative aphorism from Rimbaud: “Ah, for the days/That set our hearts ablaze.” Rohmer regular Marie Rivière, who co-wrote, is entrancing as shy Parisian secretary Delphine, unexpectedly companionless just as she’s about to embark on August vacation. Her dispirited travels in search of romance leads to a fascination with the elusive, allegedly magical optical phenomenon — the last flash of sunset — of the title. Rohmer’s radiant film won the Golden Lion at Venice. “Rohmer’s ultimate masterwork ... This beauty has simply walked out of the water and onto the beach like a Botticelli Venus” (Andrew Sarris, Village Voice).


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REVIEWS

★★★★★ "At once simple and utterly miraculous ... Will send you out of the cinema floating."

The Guardian | full review

A movie of uncommon sensitivity and emotional reserves."

New York Times | full review

"One of Rohmer’s masterpieces. It is also, in its small, stubborn way, one of the bravest movies I know."

Salon | full review