Eric Rohmer Pauline Kael - Essay

Pauline Kael

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

In an explanatory title, Rohmer informs viewers that he has taken only a single liberty with the story [Heinrich von Kleist's "The Marquise of O …": in the film, instead of raping the Marquise during the fighting at the citadel, the Russian Count rapes her afterward, when she has been given a sleeping potion. Rohmer has written that this alteration makes the story more believable for moviegoers. But it can't be an accident that he's taken out the central mad, impulsive action…. What's lost is not only the sense of the narrow experience of the virgin-hearted Marquise but Kleist's spirit, what made him an avant-gardist and a modern—his acceptance of the id released by the chaos of war. In the movie, since the rape...

(The entire section is 401 words.)