Delphine talks, but she's steadfast and prickly; her frustrations disrupt her sense of herself, leaving her unable to articulate the desires that lay beneath the emptiness within. Rohmer initially lures us into irritation with her; she is abrupt in the face of fluency and even prone to a bizarre form of sanctimoniousness. The empathy begins to emerge through the director's expert framing; by placing Delphine so prominently in shots of groups, we start to see her vulnerability, amplified as her friends attempt to humour and comfort her. But what do we want for Delphine?
This is where Rohmer's deceptively complex structure becomes apparent; this is not about the search for a man, it's a search for the light. It becomes clear during a disastrous encounter with two would-be suitors in which Delphine refuses to play the game that cinematic convention dictates she plays. The moment recasts Delphine's behaviour; she is not difficult, she is merely resistant to the expectations placed on her. The green ray - a meteorological phenomenon whereby a flash of green light is seen at the moment the sun sets below the horizon and into the sea - is said in the Jules Verne novel of the same name to magically reveal someone's thoughts. For Delphine, it's a promise.
Craig Williams | @CraigFilm