My most recent venture into the moral tales was "Le genou de Claire" (or "Claire's Knee"), the fifth - and perhaps most accessible - of Rohmer's moral canon. Jerome, a French diplomat about to be married, goes on holiday to visit an old friend staying on the shore of Lake Annecy. While there, he meets two sisters: the intense and complex Laura, and the delicate and unattainable Claire. Though Laura pursues him aggressively, Jerome is consumed by thoughts of touching Claire's knee. According to him, "Every woman has her most vulnerable point. For some, it's the nape of the neck, the waist, the hands. For Claire, in that position, that light, it was her knee." Yes, it's a strange obsession to have, but he realizes this. His fear that being revealed as a fetishist would destroy his diplomatic designs, he struggles to suppress his obsession.
The scenic Southern France location is the perfect backdrop to the beautiful seventies fashions. Dressed in woven straw hats and shift dresses, Claire and Laura are the picture of French sexy sophistication.