It would be hard to imagine an American or English director making a film like Éric Rohmer’s Ma Nuit chez Maud (1969), in which Jean-Louis Trintignant agonizes for nearly two hours over whether or not to sleep with Françoise Fabian, in the process invoking everything from Pascal’s bet on the existence of God to the dialectics of Leninist revolution.
Here, as in so many French films of that era, indecision rather than action drives forward the plot.
An Italian director would have added sex. A German director would have added politics. For the French, ideas sufficed.
in Paris Was Yesterday