"Possibly the final masterpiece from, arguably, France's greatest living director…A cinematic and sensuous delight" - TIME OUT
“This is utterly distinctive. Go and see it: a sorbet of high-mindedness to refresh the palate."” – THE GUARDIAN
"A surprising yet subtly fitting coda to one of the most extraordinary directorial careers in the history of cinema" - SIGHT AND SOUND
LATEST FILM FROM ROHMER
This is Eric Rohmer's latest film, which he made at 87. It has been said that it might be his final film.
We wanted to open the Eric Rohmer Season with this film, because we are excited about his new film, because it might, indeed, well be his last, and because we wanted to see what films this child of the French New Wave was making today. Also, the idea of having a retrospective of his work came to us because of the release of this film.
The film was screened a few months ago around the UK, and we believe it should have been shown more widely. We are very happy to be showing it tonight, giving a new opportunity for audiences to discover it.
Inspired by L'Astrée, a 17th century major work by Honoré d'Urfé, the story is set in fifth-century druidic Gaul.
When the shepherd Celadon is mistakenly accused of infidelity and abandoned by his beloved, the beautiful Astrea, he throws himself into a river in despair. A remorseful Astrea is consumed by grief, little knowing that Celadon was actually rescued and nursed back to health by a nymph and her cohorts. But Celadon promised Astrea he would stay away from her forever - how can he reunite with his love without disobeying her?
REVIEW: THE INDEPENDENT
THE INDEPENDENT wrote a very interesting article about the film (link here), and here are some extracts:
TYPICAL ROHMER…"Narratively, the film is pure Rohmer: a comedy of manners, about a couple entangled in a dilemma arising from the moral codes of their day, and reunited after intricate detours."
SEXUAL"Astrea and Celadon is by far his most overtly sexual film: what with the women's diaphanous off-the-shoulder (way off-the-shoulder) frocks, this is surely the first Rohmer film with a nipple count."
GOOD?"Astrea and Celadon may be barmy by conventional standards, yet it's barmy in an august, controlled way that bespeaks the hand of a master film-maker. It also has a modest, understated beauty that flies in the face of most contemporary costume drama. And, while your jaw may be dropping for much of the film, overall there's an emotional directness that harks back to silent cinema. It's quite possible that you won't warm to Astrea and Celadon, not remotely. But if you do, then it'll be hey-nonny-no all the way."
REVIEW: THE GUARDIAN
Great article on The Guardian website here
UNCOMMERCIAL"Astrea and Celadon has already been jeered and shrugged at in the press and online. It is certainly unworldly and hugely uncommercial. Yet it is a quietly delightful film, that calmly puts its faith in poetry and idealism; it is performed with serene confidence and poise, and succeeds in being gently affecting, mysterious and often erotic. And I didn't find it boring at all."
STRANGE"There's no doubt about it: there is something very strange about the movie - captivatingly strange, but strange nevertheless."
GO SEE IT"At any rate, this is utterly distinctive. Go and see it: a sorbet of high-mindedness to refresh the palate."
NOT TO EVERYONE'S TASTE
Because we want to tell you the truth and only the truth, we have to tell you that some people didn't like the film - here is an extract from a review in THE NEW YORK TIMES, which is probably not that good:
"Mr. Rohmer has suggested that “The Romance of Astrea and Celadon” will be his final film, and its view of love is the far-sighted perspective of a die-hard moralist gazing at the foolish world from an Olympian altitude, or perhaps from another planet."
2009 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most significant movements in the history of cinema, the French New Wave. To celebrate, we have decided to run a season of films from one of the lesser known great filmmakers of this revolutionary movement: Eric Rohmer.
"One of the great classical artists of the last half-century" - THE INDEPENDENT
21 Jun 2009, 7:30 p.m.
Tonight is a very rare chance to see Rohmer’s first short films, absolute little gems.
1 Jul 2009, 7:30 p.m.
Absolute masterpiece and great commercial success, the film tells the story of a man being tempted by a young woman and her knee…
9 Jul 2009, 7:30 p.m.
Nominated for 2 Oscars and officially selected at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
12 Jul 2009, 7:30 p.m.
Winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, "Pauline at the Beach is another rare Rohmer treat.” – The New York Times