We had to make our way past the "Falling Ice" zone at Vilas Hall to get to the showing of Le Rayon Vert, the 1986 film by the late Eric Rohmer that was released in the U.S. with the vague and meaningless title, "Summer," apparently because the distributor feared a literal translation, "The Green Ray," would position it as a science fiction movie. It's my favorite Rohmer film and the new 35mm print made last year for the film's 25th anniversary was a special treat, especially as the final scene in the movie really begs for every bit of image resolution you can get.
Actress Marie Riviere played the lead role in Le Rayon Vert and shared the screen-writing credit for the film. She worked with Rohmer on a number of films, and before he died in 2010, she made a documentary about him, In the Company of Eric Rohmer. Last year she was in New York for the rlease of the new print. She was interviewed on radio station WNYC by Leonard Lopate, and it's a real treat to be able to listen to her online, reminiscing about her career, Rohmer and the making of Le Rayon Vert.
It's a hard film to sum up in a few words. The handout for the film was the 1986 Village Voice review by Andrew Sarris. I'm happy to give him the last word.
Yes, Summer is funny in a dark way, and you do want to reach up to the screen to shake some sense into this mixed-up girl. But then, for me at least, comes a gleam of self-recognition, and Delphine magically becomes as irritatingly universal as Hamlet or Hedda Gabler. Summer is a singularly enobling episode in the history of the cinema. And in terms of the bloated budgets of the so-called motion picture industry, this beauty has simply walked out of the water and onto the beach like a Botticelli Venus.