Rohmer’s first film in colour marks also the third entry in his Six Moral Tales series and is often considered as one of his most iconic films. Besides being an easy-to-watch summer film, it is also, as most of Rohmer’s films, utterly charming and pleasing to the eye.
La Collectionneuse is set in August in the South of France, where three friends of a friend share a villa for their holiday near Saint Tropez. Future art gallerist Adrien, artist Daniel and libertine Haydee. Here are 7 themes presented in the film that make up significantly for the overall atmosphere of the film, visually and intellectually.
“We are always someone else’s slave. I find less dishonor in living at a friend’s house, than in being paid by the State. Today, most people do useless work. Three quarters of all activities are parasitic. I’m not a parasite, the bureaucrats, the technicians are.“Adrien in La Collectionneuse
The house is the setting, the backdrop to this play where Haydée is going in and out, alone and with lovers. It is the perfect summer home: large, spacious, large corridors, simple, mostly empty and with a huge terrace to spend your mornings and evenings. The monastery style is important. It doesn’t invite to stay cosy. The emptiness helps to empty the mind and engage with nature and with oneself. There is not much difference between the interior of the house and the beach with its mostly dry flora. When Haydée and Adrien take us into town for a short while, the contrast is huge. People, streets, cars…the business is unnerving. The simplicity of the house and the landscape is only broken up by carefully created still lifes and some fashion moments in St Tropez.
The sound of dogs, chicken, birds and the mild splashing of the mediterranean evoke a certain tranquility surrounding the house. Like with crickets, there are certain natural sounds Rohmer has carefully chosen to include to put even the viewer into a more relaxed mood.