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Film / La Collectionneuse

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La Collectionneuse ("The Collector", though generally left untranslated in English countries because of other works with that title) is a 1967 film co-written and directed by Éric Rohmer, labeled as #4 of his Six Moral Tales, but actually the third one made and the first one released. It was also the first of the Tales made in color.

Adrien (Patrick Bauchau) is an art dealer with aspirations to own his own gallery. While attending a party held by a rich friend, he accidentally walks in on a man and woman having sex. When his fiancée Carole (Mijanou Bardot)note  goes to London for a month, he rejects her offer to join her in favor of spending time at the rich friend's rented house on the Riviera, where he plans to hang out with his painter friend Daniel (Daniel Pommereulle) and relax in undistracted peace.

When they arrive at the house, they learn there's another guest staying there, Haydée (Haydée Politoff), a promiscuous young woman who Adrien recognizes as the one he walked in on during sex (and she recognizes him as well). Adrien is intrigued by her but also disturbed by her sexual activities, calling her a collectionneuse, a collector of men. She eventually has an affair with Daniel but still tries to work her charms on Adrien, whose quiet vacation has now turned into a maddening series of mind games between him and Haydée.

This film contains examples of:

  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Adrien and Haydée.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Several from Haydée, most memorably when she realizes that Adrien was the one who caught her in flagarante delicto earlier in the film.
  • Gratuitous English: Sam, the American art collector, speaks fluent French but exchanges some English lines with Adrien.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Adrien and Carole, Adrien strongly tempted by Haydée, Haydée and Daniel, plus Haydée and half the men in Saint-Tropez.
  • Really Gets Around: Haydée. Adrien and Daniel both call her a slut, and she doesn't object.
  • Scenery Porn: Most of the action takes place on a secluded beachfront estate in the Riviera.