What makes Delphine (Marie Rivière) cry in Le rayon vert (The Green Ray, UK; Summer, US, 1986)? Is it something that happens to her or a general absence of things happening to her? And what type of things would such a woman wish to happen: a type of woman that can’t quite get over an ex-boyfriend, is a vegetarian because it makes her body feel light, and a woman that constantly procrastinates with her friends – who want the best for her, but can’t quite seem to understand what that best might be? We can say this Eric Rohmer heroine, whose crisis is ostensibly no greater than the problem of having an enjoyable summer holiday, looks finally for nothing less than a secular miracle, searches for a meaning so contingently in the world, that nothing less than a happy accident of fate will satisfy. For the film to work its magic perhaps we also have to believe in the possibility of secular miracles, and thus must watch the film rather like a crash course in their achievement. For Rohmer is far too rationalist a filmmaker to allow the miraculous to function on its own – one has to be part of miracle creation, we have to be as patient to the nuances of chance as Rohmer wishes his character to be. For to create secular miracles, Rohmer seems to be saying, we mustn’t over-determine our lives; if anything we have to un-determine them, create holes in their expected flow, gaps in cause and effect. Above all else, perhaps, we need to create an evolving subjectivity that will allow us to be open to another’s subjectivity.
Now this will often require, however, a ‘resistant’ personality, the sort of person we might choose briefly to contrast with a ‘spongy’ personality. Where the latter goes with the flow of life, and allows life to happen to them, as we will suggest is the case with the Swedish girl Delphine meets on her travels, Rohmer is finally interested in resistant characters, the sort of resistance consistent with a philosophical perspective that incorporates Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Pliny and Seneca, through to Pascal and Kierkegaard. It is a resistance that wants to keep a distance from the world so that one can feel its closeness on one’s own terms and not on general terms. One may think of Epictetus’s belief on steadfastness that “the essence of the good is a certain disposition of our choice…” (1) It is not so much how we live but how we choose that proves vital. Then there is Kierkegaard’s “people have constantly done me an indescribable wrong by constantly mistaking for pride what was intended only to protect the secret of my melancholy.” (2) Here are examples of resisting the flow of the world to find one’s own place within it.
In the early scenes of the film we see Delphine talking with fellow Parisians, ostensibly about holiday plans, but finally about herself. Whether it’s the suggestion she goes to Spain, Ireland or stays in Paris, her enquiries, and other people’s holiday suggestions, seem to serve as an exploration of Delphine’s sense of inner necessity. A holiday thus becomes much more than a trip she can take as just another human being; it becomes a possible state to take her out of her present one. As she asks others about the holidays they take, she wants not a run-down of the holiday’s obvious benefits, but a mutual exploration on the trip’s capacity to generate something fresh. She may say at one stage that she doesn’t want to go to Ireland because she likes to go to hot countries in the summer, to swim and get a tan, but we sense it’s even more that she doesn’t want to throw herself into an alien situation. Delphine is a woman who wants change, wants nothing less than a secular miracle, but can’t propel herself into situations where radical change is likely.
Yet Rohmer suggests that if we’re resistant enough we don’t need to throw ourselves into situations; we merely have to comprehend our resistance to the world, and act, or not act, accordingly. This is an internal will, if you like, where instead of an external will that needs constantly to impact on the world, the internal will wants to feel its power, its power not necessarily to act, but just as readily not to act. Now often what makes Delphine cry is the frustration of non-action, and yet her tears are part of her very will, her very sense of herself in relation to choice.
Delphine is cinematically very much la femme qui pleure – the crying woman. And she cries because her will can not be extricated from her vulnerability. The “tear is an intellectual thing’ Blake proposed, and that might be a way of making sense of Delphine’s emotional response to the world. The tears represent Delphine’s most intense argument, her most evolved sense of self. At one stage in the film she goes off into the corner of a friend’s garden on her own, and cries. This comes after trying to defend herself as she sits with friends and discusses whether she’s lonely or not. She tries to claim she isn’t; one friend insists that she is. The flood of tears is as much about her resistance as her loneliness, as she tries when she talks to alleviate that loneliness through communicating her individuality. If she fails to register that singularity to another, then tears are likely. Even when she says she’s interested in private superstitions, we can see this as part of an individuality coinciding with vulnerability. She doesn’t want to attach her sense of superstition to those of others, to a generalised superstition, but to a private belief. Thus the tears are also part of that private belief, the quiet sobbing of one who feels alone. Are tears not so often the passive person’s attempt at resistance in the world; the way an aggressive person’s may be to fight? Delphine wants to fight on such an interior level that much of her emotion manifests itself in crying, as though the tears are the manifestation of an interior argument she hasn’t quite been able to articulate, but which nevertheless holds sway in her being – no other line of interior reasoning would work, and any counter argument proposed by friends is likely to lead to frustrated tears.
It’s this inability to defend herself strongly but instead weakly that maybe leads to Delphine’s superstitious desire to make sense of things. But as she says, she doesn’t want the little touches and references to green to be generally meaningful, merely specifically meaningful. Yet at the same time she doesn’t arrive at what Milan Kundera calls ‘con-fusions’, where ‘irrational logic is based on the mechanism of con-fusion: Pasenow (in Hermann Broch’s The Sleepwalkers) has a poor sense of reality; the causes of events escape him; he will never know what lies hidden behind the gazes of other people; yet although it may be disguised, unrecognizable, causeless, the external world is not mute; it speaks to him.’ (3) Now this may resemble Delphine, but when the world speaks to Delphine it doesn’t speak in con-fusions, but in flashes of well-being. These moments of green that run throughout the film, and are finally accumulated in the green ray of the title that Delphine sees at the end of the film with a young man to whom she finds herself attracted, are not over-determined either on Rohmer’s part or on Delphine’s. They just represent a way of not interpreting the world and universalising the interpretation, but intuiting the world and singularising the interpretation.
Thus, the question is: what is it that Delphine needs to cope with the world? She needs to believe that her own intuitive understanding is stronger than the accumulated reasoning others provide her with. When she frequently asks people about their holidays, or how they live, she doesn’t want a fully formed argument, more a response that conveys the person’s feelings, and may coincide with Delphine’s own. If the green ray proves so significant, it’s because it proposes, according to Jules Verne’s take on it quoted in the film, a meeting of minds. If one witnesses the green ray with someone to whom one is getting close, a shared mental space is possible. For most of the film this is what Delphine seeks out, and if she cries often throughout the film it is because she feels she can’t find it with other human beings. Halfway between perverse over-sensitivity and spiritual enlightenment, Delphine wants above all else to believe, and to believe through the possibilities of love.
How to create this possibility, and how high are the stakes once one refuses to accept anything less? Once we insist that love isn’t a game we play or a social transaction fulfilled, but a belief system set in motion, then we can begin to see how a secular miracle is possible, and even demanded. Does Delphine’s unhappiness not lie partly in her uncertainty over the belief she feels but that hasn’t been remotely realised? As she goes first on holiday to Cherbourg and then on what amounts to a day trip to the Alps from Paris, we notice a woman living ‘resistantly’ yet at the same time with perverse affirmation – perverse in her reliance on signs that are of course very close to Kundera’s notion of con-fusions. But it’s as though she needs these relative con-fusions in her life as way-stations towards a secular miracle. They can’t be ends in themselves, where a trapped subjectivity reads into signs a singular meaning that results in an ever greater state of paranoia. Instead, they’re the glimpses of hope that suggest her beliefs are valid. Thus, seeing on two separate occasions a queen of hearts and then a jack of hearts works so much more successfully on Delphine’s soul than comments from friends and acquaintances. After all, when she lunches with a few friends in the Paris suburbs early in the film and one of them comments on her loneliness and how she should alleviate it, she ends up going off and crying. Ditto much later in the film in Biarritz when she’s befriended by the laid-back Swedish girl we’ve already alluded to, who flirts with a couple of ‘victims’, we see Delphine looking lost as she watches the girl and one of the guys flirting with each other.
If we can say Delphine’s tears are intellectual, returning to Blake, then it’s because she believes in a notion of human interaction that isn’t based on social expectation but on a wider commitment to the possibilities in the world. Now, she doesn’t, of course, intellectualise this response, but there is a whole belief system, or rather at least two belief systems that articulate much of what she feels. The first is the idea of the epimeleia heautou. In Hellenistic culture the term meant taking care of oneself, but, as Michel Foucault explains, “it does not mean simply being interested in oneself, nor does it mean having a certain tendency to self-attachment or self-fascination…’ it ‘means “working on” or “being concerned with” something.” (4) Now, of course, Delphine does have a degree of self-fascination, but it’s a fascination with oneself not in terms of material or social progress, but instead with an evolving sensibility that allows her to express herself on her own terms; and allow others to express themselves on theirs.
However, what frequently happens is that her self-expressivity functions as defence, and others’ as attacks. This is certainly true in the scene with the friend in the suburbs already quoted, and it’s also true in a scene in Cherbourg where the people Delphine stays with suggest that she’s like a ‘plant’. As they question her about her life; we see that though there’s little that is harsh in their comments, nevertheless for someone with Delphine’s high degree of sensitivity, it will wound.
The cards, and the frequent touches of green that she observes, function as the antithesis to this wounding, and we can explain this further by invoking Gilles Deleuze on Spinoza when the latter insists there is a problem with the Ancients’ thinking of a problem. As Deleuze notes, “what was lacking in the Ancients, says Spinoza, was the conception of the soul as a sort of spiritual automaton, that is, of thought determined by its own laws.” (5) Now such a notion looks less for causes and rationalisations than for an affirmative modal state that recognizes the soul. The soul may not be justifiable in the way the people she talks to can practically and intellectually justify their position, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It just means its existence is intangible, and its tangibility, if it ever presents itself, cannot be justified by cause and effect reasoning, but instead by its presencing, or its immanence, to use Deleuze’s term. When Rohmer thus says cinema is a “means to make us admire the world better” (6) we shouldn’t see this is a narrow notion of realism, but consistent with another statement he makes in an essay called ‘Celluloid and Marble’, “in a world where everything is reducible to cause and effect, there is no place for poetry…” We admire the world better by showing how it is more than the sum total of cause and effect.
Thus a great moment for Delphine takes place when she does no more than overhear a conversation about Jules Verne’s The Green Ray. As a handful of aging friends discuss the subject, Delphine hears them say that the story is about characters searching for something. Verne, a character states, narrates how if we see the green ray we can read our feelings and other people’s too. Has Delphine found a hint of the tangible to attach her feelings to? And if the tangible expectation people offer us as options in life are so far away from what we feel we need, why shouldn’t we attach ourselves to a natural phenomena, a book (Delphine’s reading The Idiot), a green ray, a card that says hearts? Often there is more hope in the allusively significant than in the whole cause and effectual world put together, and it is hope that Delphine seeks.
Now, in the scene where Delphine runs off crying after her newfound Swedish friend flirtatiously plays with one of their victims, we shouldn’t read this as the film’s categorical disapproval of the social gesture towards seduction. Indeed Rohmer gives the characters a lot of space to explore this type of approach. But we are aware that it is a game, and the characters are aware that it is a game, and if it works at all it does so on the basis of a lightness that accepts the characters are fitting neatly into socially expected roles. It is also there quite early in the film when Delphine and a friend go to Cherbourg. There is an attractive man looking across at them, and the friend strikes up a conversation to which Delphine barely contributes. Again there is something in the social exchange that is too tangible, too expectant for Delphine, and she backs away. It is as if as soon as the social conventions kick in, Delphine must retreat, and we can ask: is she neurotically protecting herself, or generating more belief with each rejected pass? At the end of the film, with the young man whom she finds herself feeling strongly towards, she addresses this. She explains men ‘are only interested in having a drink and fooling around, or going to bed with me, but I turn them down.’ When he asks if she’s ever run after a man, she says: ‘only you. I don’t know what came over me.’ When he asks if these men who chase her fall in love, she insists that isn’t the case. ‘They fancy me one day, and then I know it’s not love. And it doesn’t mean anything. I know from the way they look at me. It’s superficial, they only want one thing.’
But we should be clear here that the type of emotional contact Delphine desires has little to do with the nauseous lovemaking we often find in films where women need something within the sexual and the emotional. In films like Le vent de la nuit (Philippe Garel, 20…, Il deserto rosso (The Red Desert, Michelangelo Antonioni, 1964), Gertrud (Carl Dreyer, 1964), even Viaggio in Italia (Voyage to Italy, Roberto Rossellini, 1953). There the ontological problem of desire resided in a deflated tenderness, a state almost beyond being and an emotional state that could even move one towards death. Delphine instead wants a love that can never be about one thing, but about the coming together of many things. If we can call the love scenes in The Red Desert and Le vent de la nuit, for example ontologically exhausted, the emotional demands relevant to the epimeleia heautou are much less sexually present (for a filmmaker so fascinated by intimacy there are few sex scenes in Rohmer’s films; and actually more often curtailed ones). There are arrangements certainly, emotional connections that create the very feelings of love, but they come less in the union of two bodies, than two minds and un-sexual bodies in relation to art and nature. This doesn’t negate sex – Les nuits de la pleine lune (Full Moon in Paris, 1987), Pauline à la plage (Pauline at the Beach, 1982) and Le beau mariage (A Good Marriage, 1982) have sexual scenes – but it does mean they have to function very differently from nauseous lovemaking. In most ‘nauseous films’ people make love, and often it is a tender love, but the tenderness seems to have nowhere to go because the world feels cold against the couple’s warmth. We do not feel that nauseous couples – Richard Harris and Monica Vitti in The Red Desert, Gertrud and her young lover in Dreyer’s film, Catherine Deneuve and Daniel Duval in Le vent de la nuit, even Emmanuelle Riva and her Japanese lover in Hiroshima mon amour (Alain Resnais, 1959) — can go anywhere, because the warmth they’ve generated is somehow against the world rather than towards it. It’s as though Rohmer more than any other modern filmmaker has tried to move away from the nauseous problematic of lovemaking to a state that is willing to negate, or at least put off, the act whilst searching out a principle of warmth that must be in place first. It ties into Rohmer’s keen cinematic optimism: “I’m very sensitive to the existential charms of film, which we see, for example, in Antonioni or Wim Wenders, That’s the way I feel at the moment…yet I’m still as in favour of optimistic films as I was then.” (7).
It is as though seduction in Rohmer shouldn’t take place in isolation, as a motive driven action, but that it’s the world that must be seductive first of all, and so we see how Rohmer wants to escape nausea by suggesting that making love must be secondary to a world of warmth: to a contingent sense of well being that contains the characters. Delphine may, in some ways, resemble our nauseous heroines, characters like Vitti’s in The Red Desert, Deneueve’s in Le vent de la nuit, or Riva’s in Hiroshima mon amour, but her move towards the solution of her indecisiveness is very different. Delphine’s indecisiveness must come much more from an acceptance of multiplicity, in chance encounters, in rare weather conditions, in superstitious possibilities, and emotional connections. If these elements come together – if she witnesses people talking about the green ray, sees a couple of cards that suggest the chance of love, meets someone who loves Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot just as she’s about to give up on meeting someone with whom she can connect, and then witnesses the green ray herself – we can see that the elements are in place for a manifold feeling towards the world. Here we begin to see how the secular miracle can take place.
Now this co-incidence of events requires a certain fragility of being whilst at the same time a resistant personality who can wait. Within this notion of waiting lies hope, and if many nauseous heroines are unlikely to arrive at a secular miracle it is because they lack this hope. They’re enervated figures, as neurotic as Delphine, but incapable of seeing the world’s many signs as phenomenologically positive. It’s the problem we see in much of Antonioni: that his heroines are often caught in a phenomenological nausea that leaves them unable to believe in the world. It’s really the difference between the way an Antonioni heroine will see nature and the way a Rohmer heroine sees nature. Where Vitti in The Red Desert sees grey fruit, as Antonioni creates an expressionistic mise-en-scene to capture Vitti’s state, Rohmer is resolutely realistic as he suggests nature’s oneness is very much within Delphine’s reach. Indeed her life is a constant move towards elemental being, and what she desires we can see in her social resistance, is that need to feel holistically at one with another, not conventionally socialised with another. Thus, whether she is talking about her vegetarianism as an issue of lightness, or reading signs of nature in the green-ness of things, her resistance manifests itself as a desire to be in the world, not one remove from it. Many nauseous heroines are removed from the world and believe only a very despairing love can offer even a hint of respite, but this leaves them still rather more lost than Delphine.
In Rohmer’s work what is central is never finding another, but always finding an aspect of oneself. So, finally it doesn’t matter whether Gaspard in Conte d’été (A Summer’s Tale, 1996) devotes himself to a woman or music, what counts is that he find himself; just as here, central to the green ray is understanding one’s own feelings in witnessing it, not simply meeting a man in relation to the green ray. So really what Rohmer is proposing is a stoical perspective that might best be summed up in Marcus Aurelias’s comment ‘when beset from without by circumstances, be unperturbed; when prompted from within to action, be just and fair: in fine, let both will and deed issue in behaviour that is social and fulfils the law of your being.’ Now we have to accept that Delphine’s inner state is not dead, merely dormant, and central to her tears is the way she feels others are trying to pull her out of that dormant state to the detriment to the law of her being. We must remember, Delphine does not see grey fruit; she sees reality as it is, but too much of that reality is socially codified rather than naturally codified. And thus, contingency in the world is the escape from cause and effect expectation into a world not necessarily of complete chance, but of variables much broader than those she’s generally expected to accept. She genuinely seems to believe in laws of nature, where she feels most people believe in the laws of society. Sure, Delphine respects society, or at least comprehends it, hence the overwhelming feelings of pressure as a single person that makes her on occasion lie and tell people she’s still with her ex-boyfriend. But what brings forth the tears is the societal expectation on the one hand and the personal/natural expectation on the other. When at one stage, while holidaying in Cherbourg, someone suggests she’s basically the plant we mentioned above, Delphine probably wouldn’t disagree. She’s like something that wishes to stretch itself to the light and feels is dying of thirst. But she’s still closer to nature than to the societal world.
Central to the film’s achievement is the degree to which it presents Delphine as plant-like, and even, easily the most plant-like character in Rohmer’s work. Many of the characters that we’ve invoked who would superficially resemble Delphine carry within them a great weight of being: they’re the shadowgraphs Kierkegaard invokes when he talks of much of their being lying in the past. Yet Delphine’s, for all the mournfulness over her ex-boyfriend, is anticipatory. Her tears are not those of a woman heavy with grief, and lost opportunities, or past opportunities, but light with anticipation that her life is awaiting momentous events. Yet these events are paradoxically small – they come from a high degree of subjectivity meeting a minor contingency, or collision of minor contingencies. Thus at the station Delphine meets someone who’s read The Idiot, and then later that evening witnesses with him the green ray. To report these events as a story to a friend would offer little objective momentousness, but if we take into account the degree of sensitivity within Delphine, the expectations she holds, and the feeling she has that she must ‘fulfil the law of her being’, we can see the secular miracle affirmed.
Central then to this affirmation is an amplified self that waits. When Foucault insists ‘Greek ethics is centered on a problem of personal choice, of the aesthetics of existence’, we can see that waiting is central to an ethical choice, and an aesthetics that can come out of this choice. Delphine of course cannot possibly engineer the green ray, but she can live in such a way that she refuses too artificial gestures of emotional togetherness and waits for ones that she feels are real. Thus she has little time for the playful games of her Swedish friend, whose sexual and emotional pleasure even resides in such game playing. When they converse Delphine says “I’ve heard it before, my friends are always telling me, ‘you must do something, you must look’”. The friend replies “I don’t think you have to go round looking. You must feel it. You feel something when you talk to people?” Delphine goes on to say yes she does – she’s very open, very receptive to people. But often she is disappointed. She desperately needs to trust people. When she asks if the friend trusts people, the Swede replies, “No. I play with people”, and also insists she’s very careful not to show her feelings too quickly. But for Delphine, as we later see in the conversation with the Dostoyevsky reader, she has to trust immediately, show her feelings straightaway, or what’s the point? She needs to believe in another person the way a religious person needs to believe in God: to believe that the other person is on some level ordained. When she says to the young man at the end of the film that he’s the only man she’s chased, what she really means (because we can hardly say she’s chased him) is that she hasn’t at all resisted him. Now, by the same token, we can say the Swedish girl hasn’t resisted either, but her entire personality is based, it seems, on absorbing not resisting. Her absorbent personality has techniques to counter too complete an absorption in others – be that consciously game-playing (when she says she doesn’t show too much interest initially), or by virtue of the way she lives: that the constantly travelling Swede is so constantly on the move that she can’t get pinned down. Delphine has no such game playing techniques and any move from place to place is more likely to be anguished restlesness more than purposeful exploration.
But who gains finally, we may ask? Better maybe not to see modes of being in terms of gains or losses, however, but to see different types of gains and losses. Rohmer would have little interest in exploring the Swedish girl’s mode. Even though she’s given plenty of space to explore her thoughts in terms of screen time, her existential condition is too unproblematic, too cause and effectual to fascinate Rohmer, and so she’s utilised really as a counter-balance to Delphine. She’s a practical, very useful oppositional character, and one many a viewer will identify with, but a counter-balance nevertheless, and that’s because her mode cannot offer the possibility of a secular miracle that Rohmer’s work seeks out.
Thus, Deleuze is of course absolutely right to incorporate Rohmer into a cinema of belief, “a cinema of extreme moralism which is opposed to morality, this faith which is opposed to religion, is a strange way of thinking.” This “has much in common with Pascal and Kierkegaard, with Jansenism and Reformism (even in the case of Sartre). It weaves a whole set of relations of great value between philosophy and the cinema.” (8) And it does so to search out the theological by other means. ‘There is no cinema more theological than mine’ Rohmer once somewhere insisted, and yet there is almost no mention of God in his work. God has become sublimated, a being permeating the world but not above and beyond it, ‘he’ becomes spirit infusing matter with significance, or rather ‘he’ becomes each individual’s subjectivity coalescing with other subjectivities and with the world at large.
If God has vanished from the world he has done so not to leave it in a state of chaos, but to leave the individual in a world of choice. When Deleuze says, “why have these themes so much philosophical and cinematographic importance? Why do all these points have to be emphasised? It is because, in philosophy as in cinema, in Pascal as in Bresson, in Kierkegaard as in Dreyer, the true choice, that which consists in choosing choice, is supposed to restore everything to us.” (9)
Hence we can see how the nauseous problematic can be resolved through a Foucauldian technology of the self. Central to that technology is choice. But where Deleuze here talks about an extreme moralism without morality, and insists this has nothing to do with Nietzsche; there is a side of Rohmer that has nothing to do with the Pascal/Kierkegaard problematic which, as Deleuze states, involves sacrifice. It is in fact, in some ways, closer to Nietzsche in the sense of an interviewer saying to Foucault that the idea of creating one’s life by giving style to it through long practise and daily work is Nietzschean and Foucault replies yes. One can see here how Delphine is a combination of the spiritual aspect central to the Pascal/Kierkegaard problem, but at the same time escapes the automaton element central to Bresson and Dreyer by a degree of agency that involves essentially tangible choices. The intangible aspect lies not especially in the choice of living in this world obliviously or with a constant awareness that one answers to God, as Kierkegaard demands in The Sickness Unto Death, but in an intangibility that demands we must wait for the tangible to come to us, we must create a technology of self that will allow the secular miracle to become actual. To do so one needs to look at the genealogy of the secular miracle through a kind of negative capability that will release the positive. It brings to mind an issue raised by the Manoel de Oliveira’s interviewer in relation to his film I’m Going Home (date). The interviewer asks in a DVD interview if the film’s resistant central character, Gilbert, is a negative personality, and Oliveira replies, ‘I think it is the result of the wisdom he has gained by experience…’ But central to this experience is knowing when to act and when not to, it lies in knowing how to play a waiting game with one’s soul, because the soul doesn’t really have motives, motives in the sense of tangible purposes and drives, it perhaps simply possesses an instinct for knowing what it doesn’t want and doesn’t need. This is partly what Kierkegaard presumably meant when he said the soul disarms psychology: we can’t trace a line of purpose, the sort of purpose so prevalent in American cinema and ego psychology, but that it has to be teased out with patience finally more significant than will, or a will that demands of itself not action but stillness. Is it not through such a respect for the wait that the secular miracle can come?
- Epictetus. The Discourses of Epictetus, (trans. Robin Hard), London: Everyman, p. 65.
- Søren Kierkegaard, Papers and Journals: A Selection, (trans. Alastair Hannay), London: Penguin, 1996, p. 267
- Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel, (trans. Linda Asher), London: Faber, 1990, p. 60
- Michel Foucault, Ethics, Paul Rabinow (ed), (trans. Robert Hurley et tal.), London: Penguin, p. 269
- Gilles Deleuze, Expressionism in Philosophy, (trans. Martin Joughin), New York: Zone Books, 1997, p.160
- Eric Rohmer, Realism and the Cinema, Christopher Williams (ed), London: BFI, p. 249
- Eric Rohmer, The Taste for Beauty, (trans. Carol Volk), New York: Cambridge University Press, p. 9
- Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 1: The Time Image, (trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam), London: The Athlone Press, p. 116
- Deleuze, The Time Image, p. 116.