Friday, June 4, 2021

Voluntary Game

La Collectionneuse (1967) - Rohmer


Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 8.01.44 AM Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 7.56.34 AM Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 8.00.08 AM Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 11.22.25 PM Adrien (Patrick Bachau)'s love interest is going to London. He doesn't want to. His friend Rodolph is letting him stay in his villa in sunny French Riviera. His plan is to go there and do nothing, except for selling a Chinese antique vace to a collector who can help him set up his art gallery. Easy-peasey. Even though Adrien wants to be alone, his painter friend Daniel is also there at the villa. But he is harmless and tolerable for the most part. Enter Haydée (Haydée Politoff), a young woman with a bobbed hair and round face, whom Adrien saw the glimpse of before when he accidentally entered a room at one of Rodolph's parties. She was having sex with someone.

Haydée's routine at the villa is to be picked up in the morning and coming home at dawn with a different man every time. Even though he says he is not interested in her, she intrigues Adrien. So starts La Collectionneuse, a mutual game where an older man plays with a younger woman to sleep with him. It's not really about who is having an upper hand or the assumed roles people play. It's not some sinister mindgame or manipulation. Adrien and Daniel name her a collector, of men. Even she doesn't think about it that way. Even the Adrien's self-centered narration rings hollow to what's actually occuring on screen. Haydée is her own woman. She's not that easy to figure out. Largely dependent on Haydée Politoff's charm, the film is light and airy, like those water dropplets on Haydée's skin evaporating under the summer sun.