A Tale of Winter (1992) is the most direct statement of Rohmer’s faith. Its heroine has lost touch with the father of her child but is confident she will be reunited with him. Sensible friends warn her that this is foolishness. They urge her to make a practical marriage with one of the men around her. From their perspective, she is attached to the same sort of romantic ideal that misleads so many other Rohmer characters. But this time there is a crucial difference. The woman lives and acts by faith—not in her unique self, nor in a revolutionary future, but in God’s providence. Her faith is rewarded in one of the most powerful sequences in all of Rohmer’s films.
Rohmer once observed that understanding Alfred Hitchcock requires setting aside terms like tracking, framing, and lenses—“the atrocious jargon of film”—and instead using terms such as “soul, God, devil, . . . redemption, and sin.” The same is true of Rohmer. Each of his films reflects his ultimately religious vision. In a world filled with chaos, he discovered beauty. Among erotic and moral follies, he found contrasts, rhythms, rhymes, and parallels. His camera discerned an order sustained by a benevolent God. Rohmer was an anti-romantic. He was also a poet of providence.
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