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(aka "The Romance of Astrea and Celadon" )
France | Italy | Spain 2007


French legend Eric Rohmer directs this adaptation that played at the film festivals in Toronto, New York, and Venice. Based on a 17th century novel that was set in the bucolic countryside in the 5th century, THE ROMANCE OF ASTREA AND CELADON concerns the love of the titular couple. A misunderstanding between the pair leads to Astrea (Stéphanie Crayencour) banishing her beloved Celadon (Andy Gillet) from her sight. Since he cannot live without his love, he throws himself into the river to end his life. Ironically, that's where the fun begins: Celadon survives, and in order to be close to Astrea, he dons drag and begins a close friendship with her.


Theatrical Release: Italy 1 September 2007 (Venice Film Festival)

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DVD Review: Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Per-Olof Strandberg for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:44:45

1:1.33 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Audio French (Dolby Digital 3.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1:1.33

Edition Details:
• Trailer (1:1.33 / 0:47)

DVD Release Date: Jan 16th, 2009
Transparent keep-case

Chapters 16





NOTE: Craig tells us - "Hi Gary -- I just read Per-Olof's review of 'The Romance of Astrea and Celadon' at Beaver. Per-Olof is both right and wrong.

Rohmer shot the film for 1.37 within a 1.85 frame -- when prints were made, black bars framed the left and right side of the image. Rohmer's rationale was a commitment to the integrity of a 1.37/1.33 image, and an acknowledgment that most theaters do not have the awareness or means to correctly project a 1.37 "full-frame / open-matte" image. The solution: create a hard-matted 1.85 image, inside of which is centered the 1.37 image, pillarboxed.

Rohmer discusses the dilemma, and his solution for 'Astrea and Celadon', at length in the feature-length interview shot approx. three years ago, which is the centerpiece of the Criterion 'Six Moral Tales' boxset.

Looking at the frames in Per-Olof's review, one should be able to see that they're clearly being presented by Artificial Eye in the correct ratio. Of course it's AE's setback not including any kind of note about the presentation in their packaging (if indeed they haven't), but both circumstances could contribute to preventing people from going ahead and purchasing this extraordinary and IMPORTANT release, which would be a true shame.
" (Thanks Craig!)


According to IMDb the film was shot on Super 16 (that gives approx. 1:1.78 ratio). On the end credits there's listened that they have shot this film with Panavision cameras (that could indicate that the original film elements was on 35 mm film stock). According to IMDb the aspect ratio should be in 1:1.85, however the image on the DVD is in 1:1.33. To add to this mess, the end credits are picture boxed, having black bars around the frame. However the title credits are not picture boxed (even tough they are similar with the end credits). And on the bottom of it all, everything, except the trailer, is heavily out of focus. This mess is transferred on a dual layered DVD occupying 6,21 Gb of space.

This is not the first time Artificial-Eye have distributed a DVD that has some problem with the focus/haziness (At the Height of Summer, Under the Sand, Merci pour le Chocolat to give some examples). Although this time the error could lead to the company that have transferred this to Digital media. I think Artificial-Eye should investigate where the problem is from, and transfer this again, with superior elements.

I haven't seen this film in a cinema so I don't know the original screen ratio. This 1:1.33 frame doesn't seem incorrect, although most of the action is framed inside a 1:1.66 frame, but this time the academy ratio seems like a better choice. I have taken one image from the trailer, it's obvious that the image on the trailer is much sharper than on the transfer of the film!

There's two soundtracks. One unusual Dolby Digital 3.0 and one in DD 2.0. They are flawless.

The only extra material is the trailer.

 - Per-Olof Strandberg



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DVD Box Cover

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Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL



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