Eric Rohmer, the celebrated, meditative and peculiar French director whose films were once famously dismissed by Gene Hackman‘s private detective in Arthur Penn‘s Night Moves (1975) as “sorta like watching paint dry,” died several hours ago at age 89.

I read the news around 2:15 pm or so, as I was leaving the Monkey Bar lunch for The Messenger. “Another great one gone,” I muttered. A legend, a major-league auteur, a pantheon guy. But I didn’t feel all that much because I’ve never felt much for his films. I’ve always respected them, but have never felt much rapport.

I can honestly say I’ve never rented or re-watched Claire’s Knee, The Marquise of O, The Aviator’s Wife, Perceval, Chloe in the Afternoon or My Night at Maud’s. after seeing them theatrically (or at a screening). They’re all worth the time, of course. I wouldn’t want to dissuade. I’ve just never been a huge fan. Is that permissible?