Full Moon In Paris
Directed by
Eric Rohmer France (97 mins)
Released
29th Aug 1984
Writing credits
Eric Rohmer
Cast
Pascale Ogier .... Louise
Tchéky Karyo .... Remi
Fabrice Luchini .... Octave
Virginie Thévenet .... Camille
Christian Vadim .... Bastien
László Szabó .... Painter at cafe
Lisa Garneri .... Tina the babysitter
Mathieu Schiffman .... Louise's decorator friend
Anne-Séverine Liotard .... Marianne
Hervé Grandsart .... Remi's friend Bertrand
Noël Coffman
Produced by
Margaret Ménégoz .... producer
Original Music by
Jacno
Elli Medeiros (as Elli)
Cinematography by
Renato Berta
Film Editing by
Cécile Decugis
Production Design by
Pascale Ogier
Costume Design by
Pascale Ogier
Makeup Department
Geneviève Peyralade .... makeup artist
Art Department
Iona Aderca .... set dresser
Christian Duc .... set dresser
Olivier Gagnere .... set dresser
Jean-Pierre Pothier .... set dresser
Jerome Thermopyles .... set dresser
Sound Department
Dominique Hennequin .... sound mixer
Gérard Lecas .... sound assistant
Jonathan Liebling .... foley artist
Georges Prat .... sound
Other crew
Gilles Arnaud .... assistant camera
Philippe Delest .... assistant manager
Jean-Marc Deschamps .... manager
María Luisa García .... assistant editor (as Lisa Hérédia)
Jean-Paul Toraille .... camera operator

Full Moon In Paris (1984)

Louise (Pascale Ogier) is a young woman who is somewhat confused about what she wants. She lives with her boyfriend, Remi (Tchéky Karyo) in the suburbs of Paris and also has an apartment of her own in Paris. The film tracks the deterioration of their relationship, which they both ignore until events force them to acknowledge it.

"He who has two women loses his soul. He who has two houses loses his mind" is the old French proverb portrayed here. The film makes a drama out of the ordinary things in life. In true Rohmeresque style, relationships and what the characters think about them are divulged in the course of conversations.

Remi, masculine and athletic, wants Louise to stay home more and stop staying in Paris overnight. Louise enjoys the city life and says that she has never really lived alone and that this is her chance. She is encouraged in her life in the city by the laconic and sophisticated writer Octave (Fabrice Luchini) who is the opposite of Remi. Nothing highlights the difference between these two more than their apartments, both of which we see. Remi's apartment is blue and cold, with a Mondrian on the wall, while Octave's apartment is warm with an enormous, sumptuous painting on the wall and an equally beautiful baby-sitter. Despite being married and a father, Octave tries, unsuccessfully, to seduce Louise in a cultivated distant manner.

As in the following film in the series, The Green Ray, nature now plays a part. On the night of a full moon Louise ends up sharing a bed with a musician whom she met at a party. This leaves her sad and wanting to return to Remi. There seems to be a vulnerability about her at this point that wasn't there before. This is highlighted by her nakedness as she rises from the bed to leave. Her arriving home early leads to the dénouement.

Perhaps prefiguring Rohmer's later series The Four Seasons, the first four films in Comedies and Proverbs each seem to be themed upon a season of the year. Full Moon In Paris is winter. The characters when they're out wear black coats and brightly coloured scarves; the scarves being Rohmer's idea. Louise seems to be in Paris to hibernate in her cosy little apartment, away from her slowly freezing relationship. The suburb, a kind of Narnia where Louise cannot bear to live all the time, is bleak and cold, somewhat dysfunctional. The skies are always grey.

Remi is too uncomfortable with conversation to be a true Rohmer character. Louise, in looking for room in their too-close relationship, tells Remi that if she falls in love with somebody else then she will tell Remi and leave him. Her meaning here was to reassure him that she was true to him if she kept coming back. How ironic that he is the one that finds new love and tells her. The film ends with Louise leaving Remi and heading for the train to Paris. A sad ending perhaps. Louise has been living an illusion that had seemed perfectly logical to her. The full moon has destroyed that illusion and though she suffers, one feels she will be stronger and wiser as a result.

Pascale Ogier as Louise, skinny, with an angular beauty and expressive large-lidded eyes is the classic Rohmer woman. The men are complicated and quirky. Remi as the strong silent athletic type contrasting with Octave's cerebal personality with his detached manner and cultured speech. Both of them seem a bit distant with Louise; possibly self-obsessed although in different ways. During the movie, as time goes by, the winter months appear as titles on the screen. Something to consider while watching the movie is whether most of the action takes place at the time of full moons. Maybe this is why the characters all seem a little skittish. The French title Les Nuits de la Pleine Lune with nights in the plural perhaps points us in this direction.

Trivia

• Pascale Ogier, the daughter of actress Bulle Ogier, had previously acted for Rohmer in his 1978 film Perceval The Gallois in which Fabrice Luchini played the lead. In 1982, with her mother, Pascale co-wrote and starred in director Jacques Rivette's film, Le Pont du Nord. Pascale won the Volpi Cup Best Actress award at the 1984 Venice Film Festival for her performance in Full Moon in Paris. That same year, the day before her 24th birthday she died of a heart attack and is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery.

• Christian Vadim who plays Bastien is the son of director Roger Vadim and actress Catherine Deneuve. His half sister on his father's side is filmographer Vanessa Vadim, whose mother is Jane Fonda; and his half-sister on his mother's side is actress Chiara Mastroianni.