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Le Cinéma Club Presents LES AMIS DE NINON A film by ROSETTE

LES AMIS DE NINON a film by ROSETTE. 1996. France. 25 min. Two friends decide to invite a bunch of old flings to a birthday party in this short by one of Éric Rohmer’s close collaborators.

Beginning in 1983, the buoyant redheaded French actress-turned-filmmaker Rosette, who was known for her frequent appearances in the films of Éric Rohmer, started making movies of her own on Super 8. With Rohmer as her sometimes cinematographer, sometimes producer and a regular coterie of friends — Arielle Dombasle, Pascal Greggory, Maria Luisa García — she made a series of hilarious episodic shorts collected as Les Aventures de Rosette (1983 – 1999), of which Les Amis de Ninon is wholly emblematic. This week, we’re delighted to present this fun adventure from the sidetracks of French cinema in collaboration with the LA-based independent and revival film series Mezzanine.

 

In Les Amis de Ninon, the titular Ninon (Rosette) and her gal pal Marie (Julie Jézéquel) host a birthday party to mixed results. After Ninon decides to only invite “guys who had a crush on me and remained with their grief,” she ends up with a party full of flirty and testy middle-aged married men. Amused but annoyed because they all gift her the same book or a bouquet of flowers, she’s forced to resort to desperate means (inviting techno-loving teens over) to get her former flings to leave the party.

 

 

“Initially, I had a Super 8 camera and I wanted to make a little film with it, to showcase myself and make myself known, like a sort of business card. Éric liked the idea […] he loved framing within a group of friends, in freedom and joy.” ROSETTE

 

While Rohmer often concerned himself with lovelorn and dispirited men and women, Rosette’s visions of Paris in the ‘80s and ‘90s offer a cheerier, nevertheless equally thoughtful understanding of the city’s complicated relationship to sex, love, and friendship. For Rosette, these were “vacation films, made in complete freedom with a family of friends I met in Éric’s world.”

 

The mononymous Rosette was born in Cherbourg, France, in 1959. Having worked as an actress for Jean Claude-Brisseau, Haydée Caillot, Arielle Dombasle, and Éric Rohmer, throughout the ‘80s, she eventually began writing and directing her own films with people she’d befriended on set. Her cheeky and idiosyncratic shorts display insightful attitudes toward both social and cinematic conventions. More recently, she published a memoir detailing her friendship with Rohmer aptly titled Éric (L’ami Rohmer).

 

Text written by Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer. Special thanks to Micah Gottlieb.