The Romance of Astrea and Celadon
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
In an enchanted, mythical forest in 5th century France, star-crossed lovers Astrea (Stéphanie Crayencour) and Celadon (Andy Gillet) are kept apart by their feuding families. After Astrea thinks she witnesses Celadon flirting with another belle, she regretfully sends him away. Surrounded by rivals, nymphs and druids, the two must overcome jealousy, temptations and other-worldly obstacles to keep their passion alive in this fairytale-styled romance from acclaimed director Eric Rohmer.
Top Customer Reviews
Rohmer transports the viewer to a world of idyllic streams and forests where shepherds dress in the tunics of the Seventeenth century. Celadon (Andy Gillet), a young man of noble birth has chosen the simple life of a shepherd and is deeply in love with Astrea (Stephanie Crayencour), a shepherdess of more modest family lineage. Though the film in lesser hands might have seemed a bit silly, Rohmer's straightforward direction reveals an emotional truth often obscured by modern cinematic techniques of fast cuts, hand-held camerawork, and curse words that are supposed to enhance "realism.
At a family gathering, Céladon pretends to be infatuated with Amynthe (Priscilla Galland) to mollify his and Astrea's parents who are bickering, but when Astrea sees him kiss the other woman, she is racked by jealousy and orders Celadon to stay away from her forever "unless I bid you otherwise".Read more ›
Some further observations: (1) When the two women rescue the unconscious Celadon from the riverbank, both fall for him, but haughty Galatea wishes to ensnare him while Leonidas loves him selflessly and seeks only to free him. (2) Taking issue with Celadon's brother Lycidas and his idealised view of commitment and fidelity, Hylas the minstrel praises a promiscuous attitude to love, and his two "groupies" hang onto his arms, and his every word. Next time we see them, at the woodland shrine Celadon has created in honour of Astrea, the girls have clearly tired of him and keep their distance. (3) The speech made by Adamas the druid in the presence of the Roman god statues cleverly conflates elements of theology from four different periods: Ancient Rome, Medieval France, 17th century France (when the original romance was written) ... and the present day! (4) This radiant, understated film repays repeat viewings: all kinds of subtleties become apparent.
He seems to be stripping back the complexity and sophistication of civilization and working from a simpler palette. Rural life provides a model of a simpler,more wholesome way of life than court or city,the formalized rituals of courtly love. Idealized and engaging: dark, dusky-eyed Celadon (Andy Gillet) throws himself in the river when blond-tressed lover Astrea (Stéphanie Crayencour) rejects his protestations of innocence of infidelity, butsurvives to receive a fundamental sentimental education, not least at the sensuous hands of a party of diaphanous nymphs.He is under a curse never to see her again.The paradoxes of life between heart and head,body and soul,sex and love play out.As he lives in the forest he is taught valuable lessons by a druid that he could get close to Astrea under disguise.
He secretly insinuates himself into her company disguised as a girl.Think of mid- period Shakespearian comedy romances like As You Like It.Read more ›