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And God Created Jean-Louis Trintignant

Friday, March 29, 2013
8:45 p.m. My Night at Maud’s
Eric Rohmer (France, 1969)

Imported 35mm Print!

(Ma nuit chez Maud). The setting is provincial France in the dead of winter. A young engineer, Jean-Louis (Trintignant), a Catholic absorbed in positioning himself vis-à-vis Pascal, is forced by climatic conditions to spend the night with a witty and seemingly irresistible divorcée, Maud. Language and philosophy form the centerpiece of Maud's attempt to seduce Jean-Louis—and of his valiant defense. Jean-Louis is saving himself for Françoise, whom he watches each Sunday in church; but his "triangle theory" becomes a veritable Möbius strip as Françoise's actual identity unfolds over time. Pascal's wager haunts the future, as well as the present. The paradigm of contrasts set up in the dialogue is recreated in Nestor Almendros's black-and-snow cinematography, which is as beautiful and desolate as Trintingant's lonely thinker seeking grace.

—Judy Bloch

• Written by Rohmer. Photographed by Nestor Almendros. With Jean-Louis Trintignant, Françoise Fabian, Christine Barrault. (105 mins, In French with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, From Institut Français, permission Criterion Collection/Janus Films)