The young shepherd, Céladon, is being rebuked by his fiancée, Astrée, who suspects that he is cheating on her. Through utter desperation he throws himself into a roaring torrent river sweeps him away… Eric Rohmer’s vision of doubt, hazard and love.
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The Romance of Astrea and CeladonDirected byÉric Rohmer
When it premiered I was uncertain for a few weeks if I did liked it or not. The tone of the acting is quite strange (a friend told me it was a tribute to amateur theatre). Leaving the screening, I was dazzled, confused, caught between enjoyment and bewilderment. Everything else is wonderful. There are still, after these years many, many scenes in my memory. And I definitely decided that I love it, a lot. Gorgeous!
A fine adieu from one of the great cinéastes, but also, in point of fact, a paean to not so much (as some have suggested) monogamous love as what that idea means and has meant to art, the allure of that romantic fantasy and the arguments and philosophical implications its pure idealism provokes in Honoré d'Urfé's shepherds and druids (and in those of us who respond to Rohmer's film).
As in "Perceval" or "L'anglaise et le duc", Rohmer creates his own world with his rythm, his aesthetic, his own langage. Even after four decades of filmmaking, he wished to reshape cinema and find new directions (where others just repeat themselves over and over again). I can't stop but admire this energy and curiosity.
‘Astrea and Celadon’ is striking in its simplicity, its minimalist approach drawing the attention to the story and its characters. Rohmer creates a Classical world for his idyll; his shepherds’ hands and clothes are unblemished by their work, and their existence is presented to us as one of feasting and festivity. Whilst it's tiresome at times, it manages to hold the attention and the finale is gently heartwarming.
It is always interesting to discover a filmmaker by his last movie. Personally I found this film very sexy, Andy Gillet shows not only his graces as a model but also as the good actor he is. However, I'd had expected something more relevant to happen, everything is kinda uneventful.
A romantic fairy tale featuring values of courtly love, set in times of early christianity, as imagined by a 17th-century poet, as imagined by 21st century film makers. Literally timeless (or rather: of all times ;-) )
Beautiful, weird, and weirdly, beautifully erotic. The story is annoying, though seems true to the source. The way it's told is gorgeous; the costumes are all the soft colors of designer chicken eggs, the lush greens look ready to dance in barefoot. The straightforwardness of the delivery makes the silly narrative palatable, and absolutely everyone is beautiful.