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January 14, 2010


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Arthur S.

Interesting. Triple Agent reminded me a lot of Mankiewicz's 5 Fingers, which is more Nabokovian than the Rohmer in its wittiness and sense of decadence, in that it's a spy film that depends on language, role-play and timing.

Rohmer said in an interview that he wanted to convey the mysteriousness of interaction. How little people know of each other even in marriage and how this relates to an event bereft of resolutions. I love the fact that even in the end one doesn't know if Fyodor betrayed his wife, left her to die or was simply caught up in the machinery of his actions. He disappears...


Beautiful, enlightening analysis. I just watched the film for the 3rd time since it was released. I know Rohmer's work quite well (I studied it for a few years) and to me "Triple Agent" is one of his greatest works (which might sound exaggerated for someone almost at the end of his career). And I agree with you -- Renko's performance is simply (and truly) stunning.

Thanks for your article.


"Rohmer presents a moral tale of how people make themselves unknowable not only to each other but to themselves."

Thank you for this ...

Eric Stanton

Thanks for this excellent essay, Glenn.

I was inspired by your post to re-read "The Assistant Producer" last night; it had been more than twenty years since I first read it.

Nabokov's story is urbane and exquisite, of course, but I prefer Rohmer's wry film. Your observation that Nabokov "has injected very little of what you might call 'the human element'" into his story is very much to the point. Nabokov's tale is beautifully wrought, but Rohmer's film, which is carefully grounded in the atmosphere and politics of its place and time, and more invested in its characters (to put it mildly) is more moving, IMO. Not to say that anyone interested in the subject shouldn't dive into the Nabokov, which certainly has its rewards.

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