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Claire’s Knee (1970) Review: Effect of Partial Passion!

claire's knee minimalist poster

The originality of passion is that it is indispensable and natural. Passion finds its naturalness in the partial. As a matter of fact, if the purpose is realized, we see that the passion with all its sides ends. After this finish line, everything that is spoken about and can be talked about is empty.

Passion and Originality in Eric Rohmer’s Claire’s Knee

Eric Rohmer’s film Claire’s Knee (Le genou de Claire) shows that any acquisition we may have of the complexity or originality of passion remains partial. Not only to their higher ‘equivalents’; one of the best examples of how it can be brought to life in all its simplicity. With Rohmer’s point of view, we can say that his determination to magnify what should be underestimated, perhaps, is explained with passion.

Jerome and Claire look at each other romantically.

There is the point where it is emphasized that every movement of passion must be natural or that the act of choice is random:

At the very beginning of the movie, Jerome’s character is ultimately given a quest for a simple passion that he can channel himself into.

In other words, the main base to be reflected is this:

The point is that the film will not progress step by step, on the contrary, it will be presented in a way that is clear from the beginning, without deviating from the simplicity of the story, but also in a roundabout way.

We also watch the characters being balanced in depth or superficially. It presents in a wonderful way that the tones of the movie on the characters are not at the same level.

We take for granted from the very beginning of the movie that Claire is simpler and more solvable than Jerome. However, this assumption turns us into a wrong corner because we expect the same situation in terms of depth. The reflection of the Aurora character is more superficial but deep compared to Claire. In fact, we can say that this form is done so that the situation I mentioned above is not overlooked by the viewer.

In the film "Claire's Knee," a young boy with a tennis racket touches the knee of a teenage girl as they sit on a bench, depicted from below the waist.

The Complexity of Passion: Reflections on Rohmer’s Film

The journey of the passion display to reach the end step by step still does not give the audience comfort. The formal manifestation of the immobility campus is almost an antidote to its disturbing poison. The fact that the end of some points cannot be found and the basis of existence of some disconnections can be explained by Rohmer’s desire to show us everything without saying anything.

In short, Rohmer tells us that behind all these little seemingly useless games, the doors of the spiritual world can never be opened wide. It shows that the only thing we can see and the director can show us are partial compositions.

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Last modified: July 8, 2023