CULTURE

On location with Eric Rohmer

Katerina Didaskalou, the Greek actress whom Eric Rohmer chose as his leading lady for his latest film, «Triple Agent,» was eager to talk about her filming experience in France during one of her short breaks between filming and rehearsals. The last scenes of «Triple Agent» are currently being filmed in a studio near Paris. «You are catching me at a very good moment,» she confessed in a voice which revealed only joy and without any trace of anxiety, despite the fact that during the interview she had to get ready for the next rehearsal. «I have just experienced one of the most touching moments of filmmaking, listening to Rohmer reading the script.» Didaskalou plays the part of Arsinoe, a painter of Greek decent, wife of a czarist army general who moved to Paris after the October Revolution and became a spy. On the other hand, she sympathizes with a communist, a member of the Front Populaire. Rohmer decided not to give up on films with historical settings, despite the cold reception he received to «L’Anglaise et le Duc,» set at the time of the French Revolution. Didaskalou did not provide much information about her role, following Rohmer’s well-known tactic of revealing as few details as possible before the completion of his films. «Arsinoe represents the scapegoats of all wars,» she said, without defining whether she was referring to actual wars or to psychological wars. She was quick to react to the association that the word «war» has recently acquired with events in the Middle East. «If you are referring to Iraq, Rohmer has not made one comment on it. He is the kind of director who does not talk a lot with the actors. He doesn’t analyze the script too much, but leaves the initiative to us. He just asks me, before every scene, what I would do. If you have given him good reason to trust you, then he will. That is great freedom and great responsibility at the same time.» When asked about Rohmer’s particularities during filming, she pointed out his interest in specific camera angles. «He can film a dramatic scene relatively quickly, in just one take, yet he may spend an entire hour only to film a lamp! He is interested in detail, how you say ‘good morning’ or ‘goodbye’.» According to Didaskalou, Rohmer’s insistence on detail and camera angles is also reflected in the studio atmosphere, but his sense of humor becomes evident once filming is over for the day. She also confirmed the 82-year-old director’s excellent physical condition. «He is so active that at the end of the day he will start commenting on various things, including my clothes.» Filming of «Triple Agent» comes to an end this month.