Essential Eric Rohmer - (Import DVD)
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Four films by French New Wave director Eric Rohmer. Rohmer's debut feature 'The Sign of Leo' (1959) is heralded as one of the first films of the Nouvelle Vague. Jess Hahn stars as Pierre Wesselrin, a French-American composer living in Paris who reads in his horoscope that after the age of 40 (an age that he is fast approaching) his life will turn either to fortune or to destitution. When he hears that a rich aunt has died, he borrows money from friends and throws a lavish party - but his life soon takes a sharp turn in an unexpected direction. 'Rendez-Vous in Paris' (1995) comprises a trilogy of Paris-set stories exploring the misunderstandings and misconceptions that often arise in 20-something love affairs. 'Triple Agent' (2004) is an espionage drama set in the Russian emigre community of 1930s Paris. The newly-elected Popular Front government in France and the civil war in Spain have sparked a turmoil of passion and confusion. Fyodor Voronin (Serge Renko) - a former young White Russian army general now living in Paris - and his Greek wife, Arsinoe (Katerina Didaskalou), are caught up in the mood of uncertainty. She befriends her communist neighbours, while he makes secret trips abroad and playfully cultivates his friends' anxieties. He doesn't deny that he is a spy - but for whom: the anti-Communist White Russians, the young Soviet Union, the Nazis, or all three? Does he even know himself? For a man who loves his wife, he seems strangely willing to sacrifice her for the sake of a sordid conspiracy... 'The Romance of Astrea and Celadon' (2007) is an adaptation of the 1607 pastoral fantasy by Honore d'Urfe about a lovelorn shepherd in fifth century Gaul. In an enchanted forest, shepherd Celadon (Andy Gillet) and shepherdess Astrea (Stephanie Crayencour) share a pure and chaste love. Fooled by a suitor, Astrea dismisses Celadon, who throws himself into a river out of despair. The heartbroken Astrea - who has now, too late, discovered her suspicions to be false - believes Celadon to be dead, but what she does not know is that Celadon has in fact been saved from death by the water nymphs. Mad with love and despair, coveted by the nymphs and surrounded by rivals, Celadon is obliged to disguise himself as a woman to be near the one he loves.
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