Eric Rohmer, the French critic-turned-filmmaker, and former editor of CAHIERS DU CINÉMA, died earlier today at the age of 89. His most recent film, LES AMOURS D'ASTRÉE ET DE CELADON (THE ROMANCE OF ASTRÉE AND CELADON, 2007), was rumored to be his last but I refused to believe it. For many years, he was my favorite filmmaker; Krzysztof Kieslowski eventually overtook him in my estimations, but whenever I revisited Rohmer's work, or saw new work, I felt touched and warmed and changed by it. His films had the power to clear my head and make me see the world again with young eyes, even when he ventured to be cynical or ironic. I feel as though I've lost someone very close and dear to me, met only on the plane of art. The attached image, of course, shows Jean Claude Brialy admiring Laurence de Monaghan in Rohmer's masterpiece LE GENOU DE CLAIRE (CLAIRE'S KNEE, 1970). Two that spoke still more directly to me, though, were MA NUIT CHEZ MAUD (MY NIGHT AT MAUD'S, 1969) and LA RAYON VERT (THE GREEN RAY aka SUMMER, 1986).