For a week the weather has been really amazing. Autumn is my favorite part of the year anyway, but the beginning of the season is incredible. It is still warm, the leaves on the trees just started turning yellow and red, and you can detect that autumny smell in the air – decay and crispy, foggy morning smell. For some unknown reason to me, it makes me feel really optimistic and whole. It makes me want to dine outside in fading warmth of the sun. It also makes me think of my favorite French director – Eric Rohmer. Especially two of his films – A Tale of Autumn and The Green Ray. One reason is because there are so many beautiful scenes of people dining outside but also because of the atmosphere of his films.
Rohmer’s films make me feel really nostalgic. I became obsessed with his work as a teenager. Many years later I was introduced to one of my (now) best friends and first conversation we had was a heated argument about Rohmer. He changed his mind after a few years and started admiring my favorite director. At some point when A Tale of Autumn was released he bought two tickets and said to me: ‘ You, me, dark cinema and Rohmer…what can be better’. That cinema doesn’t exist anymore in my university town, but I remember every single film I watched there…
The Green Ray is my favorite because I feel close to the main character who’s a vegetarian (most of the time) and a bit bonkers. The way she cries randomly and unexpectedly makes her even more amusing but honest.
What I also love about Rohmer is his philosophical references. His characters discuss Pascal or Rousseau, girl from A Tale of Springtime makes a point that people constantly confuse meaning of transcendent with transcendental, something that anyone who studied philosophy finds quite amusing. And no one in film history, maybe apart from Woody Allen, could make an interesting film about people ‘walking and talking’. He had an ear for the way people talk but also knew how to make an interesting, intelligent film. Maybe because he wasn’t treating his audience like idiots, he had faith in them.
So, what would one like to serve while having a little Rohmer session? Well, it has to be something light but elegant, like his films.
Goat cheese and fig salad
200-300 grams rocket, washed
200 grams soft goat cheese
shavings of vegetarian parmesan
walnuts or pecans
For the dressing:
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1. Cut figs in half, spread them on a baking tray, bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
2. In a dry pan or in the oven toast walnuts or pecans (whichever you prefer).
3. Put the rocket in a bowl. Make your dressing by combining all ingredients, pour onto the rocket, mix. Put figs on top, crumble goat cheese, sprinkle your choice of nuts and shavings of parmesan. Serve it with red wine and Eric Rohmer’s film.