A Tale of Springtime
Simple conversations engender complicated human interactions. The first in Eric Rohmer’s Four Seasons series, Conte de printemps (A Tale In Springtime) is the story of an introverted young girl (Florence Darel) just reaching adulthood who takes a liking to an older woman she meets at a party (Anne Teyssedre) and determines to match her off with her father (Hugues Quester), despite the latter’s already having a lover of his own. There is a certain absurdity to this, apparent to both adults, who though both reluctantly attracted to each other resent Darel’s attempts at matchmaking. Nevertheless, both of them are intelligent enough to understand that there is no ‘proper’ way to meet, and are alive to the possibilities that life brings them. Darel, for her part, is a persistent catalyst. As with all Rohmer films, the stage is set, in an age of increasing impermanence and uncertainty in human relationships, for a series of minimalist reflections on love and life.