Golden Anniversaries: Films of 1970

Claire's Knee with Robert Garrick

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Claire’s Knee

Eric Rohmer, France, 1970, 105 min., French

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Jerôme (Jean-Claude Brialy) asks a provocative question — “Why would I tie myself to one woman if I were interested in others?” — even as he plans on marrying a diplomat’s daughter by summer’s end. Before the wedding, however, Jerôme spends his July at a lakeside boarding house nursing crushes on the 16-year-old Laura (Béatrice Romand) and, more tantalizingly, Laura’s long-legged, blond stepsister, Claire (Laurence de Monaghan). Baring her knee on a ladder under a blooming cherry tree, Claire unwittingly instigates Jerôme’s moral crisis and creates one of French cinema’s most enduring moments.

Intro and discussion by Robert Garrick, attorney and former contributor to the film blog.