Chloe in the Afternoon (1972): Eric Rohmer’s Sixth and Final Tale in Series

In the 1960s, with his cycle of “Six Moral Tales” (Contes Moraux), and especially after the success of Ma Nuit chez Maude (My Night at Maud’s), Eric Rohmer finally won international recognition, including the U.S.
The cycle comprises one short and five feature-length films, including Chloe in the Afternoon.  They are variations on a similar theme and have a common structure: intimate verbal exchanges between characters whose intellectual inflexibility is challenged by a tempting new set of physical circumstances, with ensuing inconsistencies between words spoken by the characters and their actions.

“Chloe in the Afternoon,” the sixth and final segment, centers on the married Frederic (Bernard Verley), a professional who has no time for his wife Helene (Francoise Verley).

The tale includes a fantasy montage, in which Frederic imagines encounters with various women, all played by Rohmer’s vet actresses, which makes this film more self-conscious and self-reflexive than the others.

Having settled into domesticity, all he can do is dreams about love in the afternoon, hence the title.