Tag Archives: Poetry

Friday night movie: Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)

Here’s tonight’s movie in English, but black and white:

IMDB rating: [7.6/10]

Or if you are brave, you can watch the newer, color (1990) French-language version, with subtitles.

IMDB rating: [7.6/10]

Description:

Cyrano de Bergerac is a Parisian poet and swashbuckler with a large nose of which he is self-conscious, but pretends to be proud of. He is madly in love with his “friendly cousin” (they were not actually related as cousins), the beautiful Roxane; however, he does not believe she will requite his love because he considers himself physically unattractive. Soon, he finds that Roxane has become infatuated with Christian de Neuvillette, a dashing new recruit to the Cadets de Gascogne, the military unit of which Cyrano is the captain. Christian however, despite his good looks, is tongue-tied when speaking with women. Seeing an opportunity to vicariously declare his love for Roxane, he decides to aid Christian, who does not know how to court a woman and gain her love.

Gascony (Gasgogne in French) is the south-west of France, and Normandy is in the north of France. Cyrano and the other cadets are from Gascony, but Christian is from Normandy.

This movie is very special to me, because I share many of the character traits and experiences of Cyrano. In fact, whenever I want to explain myself to a woman, I show her this movie and highlight certain parts. Like me, Cyrano has a distant relationship with his mother, and no sisters. Like me, his favorite color is white. For him, it symbolizes independence. For me, it symbolizes independence and also chastity, fidelity and secrecy. He wears a white plume in his hat, symbolizing his independence.

At one point in the movie, Cyrano is shown to be fond of making enemies rather than friends, because he resents the way that people are constantly trying to make friends and trying to make people like them. I have that same view. I get very annoyed with Christians who hide their convictions about truth and morality in public in order to be liked by others. In fact, I think that the two biggest challenges to being a Christian are the expectation that if God is real, then he will make you happy and the expectation that following Jesus will make people like you. It’s much better if Christians expect to not be happy and to not be liked – that’s the normal Christian life. Many Christians fall away from their faith because they feel that God should make them happy and that people should like them.

I wish that everyone watching the movie could understand French, because Cyrano always speaks in rhymes in the French. He is asked by someone how he expects to survive after he has offended some fool who is protected by a powerful nobleman. Does Cyrano have a powerful protector? His reply: “No, I have no patron… but a patroness” while putting his hand on his sword. In other productions of the play, like this one, he draws his sword.

Cyrano is also very lonely, and finds women very mysterious, and therefore very desirable. But he has a long nose, so he feels that he has no hope with them, and he doesn’t even try.

Look:

CYRANO:
Look well at me–then tell me, with what hope
This vile protuberance can inspire my heart!
I do not lull me with illusions–yet
At times I’m weak: in evening hours dim
I enter some fair pleasance, perfumed sweet;
With my poor ugly devil of a nose
I scent spring’s essence–in the silver rays
I see some knight–a lady on his arm,
And think ‘To saunter thus ‘neath the moonshine,
I were fain to have my lady, too, beside!’
Thought soars to ecstasy. . . O sudden fall!
–The shadow of my profile on the wall!

If you watch the 1990 version of the movie with subtitles, you can at least hear the rhymes – everything he says rhymes. French is a beautiful language. Here’s the play in French and in English for those who prefer to read rather than watch. If you read the play, you get more details but you lose the swordfights. Cyrano is the best swordsman in Paris, and not afraid to use his sword to make a point, so to speak.

Happy Friday!

Friday night movie: Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)

Here’s tonight’s movie:

IMDB rating: [7.4/10]

Description:

Cyrano de Bergerac is a Parisian poet and swashbuckler with a large nose of which he is self-conscious, but pretends to be proud of. He is madly in love with his “friendly cousin” (they were not actually related as cousins), the beautiful Roxane; however, he does not believe she will requite his love because he considers himself physically unattractive. Soon, he finds that Roxane has become infatuated with Christian de Neuvillette, a dashing new recruit to the Cadets de Gascogne, the military unit of which Cyrano is the captain. Christian however, despite his good looks, is tongue-tied when speaking with women. Seeing an opportunity to vicariously declare his love for Roxane, he decides to aid Christian, who does not know how to court a woman and gain her love.

Gascony (Gasgogne in French) is the south-west of France, and Normandy is in the north of France. Cyrano and the other cadets are from Gascony, but Christian is from Normandy.

This movie is very special to me, because I share many of the character traits and experiences of Cyrano. In fact, whenever I want to explain myself to a woman, I show her this movie and highlight certain parts. Like me, Cyrano has a distant relationship with his mother, and no sisters. Like me, his favorite color is white. For him, it symbolizes independence. For me, it symbolizes independence and also chastity, fidelity and secrecy . He wears a white plume in his hat, symbolizing his independence.

At one point in the movie, Cyrano is shown to be fond of making enemies rather than friends, because he resents the way that people are constantly trying to make friends and trying to make people like them. I have that same view. I get very annoyed with Christians who hide their convictions about truth and morality in public in order to be liked by others. In fact, I think that the two biggest challenges to being a Christian are the expectation that if God is real, then he will make you happy and the expectation that following Jesus will make people like you. It’s much better if Christians expect to not be happy and to not be liked – that’s the normal Christian life. Many Christians fall away from their faith because they feel that God should make them happy and that people should like them.

I wish that everyone watching the movie could understand French, because Cyrano always speaks in rhymes in the French.

Here is one of my favorite parts:

Annoying person:
Quoi, pas un grand seigneur pour couvrir de son nom?…

Cyrano, angry:
Non, ai-je dit deux fois. Faut-il donc que je trisse?
Non, pas de protecteur…
(la main son epee)
Mais une protectrice!

He is asked by someone how he expects to survive after he has offended some fool who is protected by a powerful nobleman. Does Cyrano have a powerful protector? His reply: “No, I have no patron… but a patroness” while putting his hand on his sword. In other productions of the play, like this one, he draws his sword.

Cyrano is also very lonely, and finds women very mysterious, and therefore very desirable.

CYRANO:
Regarde-moi, mon cher, et dis quelle esperance
Pourrait bien me laisser cette protuberance !
Oh ! je ne me fais pas d’illusion !–Parbleu,
Oui, quelquefois, je m’attendris, dans le soir bleu;
J’entre en quelque jardin oa¹ l’heure se parfume;
Avec mon pauvre grand diable de nez je hume
L’avril,–je suis des yeux, sous un rayon d’argent,
Au bras d’un cavalier, quelque femme, en songeant
Que pour marcher, a petits pas, dans de la lune,
Aussi moi j’aimerais au bras en avoir une,
Je m’exalte, j’oublie. . . et j’apercois soudain
L’ombre de mon profil sur le mur du jardin !

Translation:

CYRANO:
Look well at me–then tell me, with what hope
This vile protuberance can inspire my heart!
I do not lull me with illusions–yet
At times I’m weak: in evening hours dim
I enter some fair pleasance, perfumed sweet;
With my poor ugly devil of a nose
I scent spring’s essence–in the silver rays
I see some knight–a lady on his arm,
And think ‘To saunter thus ‘neath the moonshine,
I were fain to have my lady, too, beside!’
Thought soars to ecstasy. . . O sudden fall!
–The shadow of my profile on the wall!

It’s a bit sad to me that you guys are not getting the original French, but if you watch the 1990 version of the movie with subtitles, you can at least hear the rhymes. Here’s the play in French and in English for those who prefer to read rather than watch. If you read the play, you get more details but you lose the swordfights. Cyrano is the best swordsman in Paris, and not afraid to use his sword to make a point.

Happy Friday!

Related posts

What Christian men want from Christian women… in paintings!

Chivalry and chastity are two important factors in my life. Both of these ideas are rooted in Christianity, and they give men tools for expressing themselves to women using words or gifts, instead of using touch. Both are complex disciplines to learn. Reading literature is the best way to learn, or by watching your parents get along, if you have a good father and mother (I did not!). But another way to learn is by studying the great works of art. You can learn a lot about the differences between men and women by looking at great art – and you can get some ideas on how to treat them, too.

Below are just a few of my favorite paintings. (I like the Pre-Raphaelite era especially) Each of these paintings expresses something that men want from women in a chaste and chivalrous relationship. These behaviors are great as part of a formal courtship.

Click the small images for MUCH larger images!

RECOGNITION:

Godspeed - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1900
Godspeed - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1900

Men should be judged by godly women based on whether they are doing what God wants them to do. Those men who are willing to put God first in their planning should be recognized as special. Standard procedure is to give committed Christian men a token with the lady’s colors that he can carry into battle.

APPROVAL:

The Accolade - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1901
The Accolade - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1901

Men need to be encouraged to fulfill their obligations to God by receiving the approval of godly women. Men who accomplish great things for God should receive rewards from women. Notice that the painting is portraying a public accolade.

ATTENTION:

Alain Chartier - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1903
Alain Chartier - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1903

Along with her relationship with God, godly women should make time for relating to godly men, especially to her husband if she is married. This is even more important than parenting! I am a big believer in eye contact and long written essays.

UNDERSTANDING/RESPECT:

Call to Arms - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1888
Call to Arms - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1888
Duty - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1883
Duty - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1883

Women need to understand that a man’s duty to her comes second to a man’s duty to God. Part of loving a man is letting him do the activities that he needs to do in order to flourish as a man. Treating a man as a little boy by trying to control him is a sure way to make him disengage from the relationship.

DEFERENCE/GRATITUDE:

St. George Fighting the Dragon - Raphael Sanzio - 1505
St. George Fighting the Dragon - Raphael Sanzio - 1505

A woman should be able to drive a stick shift, fire a Springfield Arms XD accurately, do the family tax return, throw a football 20 yards, and barbecue steaks. However, when men are around, she should allow men to do things for her, even if she can do them better herself. Men should always be asked to do dangerous tasks (shoveling snow, killing spiders, etc.), and they should never be criticized by women about their performance in front of other people, only in private – and even then with gentleness.

Related posts

What Christian men want from Christian women… in paintings!

The gift of tokens, such as handkerchiefs or pennants, is standard operating procedure in chivalry. Chivalry and chastity are two important factors in my life. Both are complex disciplines to learn. Reading literature is the best way to learn, or by watching your parents get along, if you have a good father and mother (I did not!). But another way to learn is by studying the great works of art.

Below are just a few of my favorite paintings. (I like the Pre-Raphaelite era especially)

Click the small images for MUCH larger images!

RECOGNITION:

Godspeed - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1900
Godspeed – Edmund Blair Leighton – 1900

Men should be judged by godly women based on whether they are doing what God wants them to do. Those men who are willing to put God first in their planning should be recognized as special. Standard procedure is to give committed Christian men a token with the lady’s colors that he can carry into battle.

APPROVAL:

The Accolade - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1901
The Accolade – Edmund Blair Leighton – 1901

Men need to be encouraged to fulfill their obligations to God by receiving the approval of godly women. Men who accomplish great things for God should receive rewards from women. Notice that the painting is portraying a public accolade.

ATTENTION:

Alain Chartier - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1903
Alain Chartier – Edmund Blair Leighton – 1903

Along with her relationship with God, godly women should make time for relating to godly men, especially to her husband if she is married. This is even more important than parenting! I am a big believer in eye contact and long written essays.

UNDERSTANDING/RESPECT:

Call to Arms - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1888
Call to Arms – Edmund Blair Leighton – 1888
Duty - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1883
Duty – Edmund Blair Leighton – 1883

Women need to understand that a man’s duty to her comes second to a man’s duty to God. Part of loving a man is letting him do the activities that he needs to do in order to flourish as a man.

DEFERENCE/GRATITUDE:

St. George Fighting the Dragon - Raphael Sanzio - 1505
St. George Fighting the Dragon – Raphael Sanzio – 1505

A woman should be able to drive a stick shift, fire a Springfield Arms XD accurately, do the family tax return, throw a football 20 yards, and barbecue steaks. However, when men are around, she should allow men to do things for her, even if she can do them better herself. Men should always be asked to do dangerous tasks (shoveling snow, killing spiders, etc.), and they should never be criticized about their performance in front of other people, only in private.

Next time

Next time we can look at other paintings from Frank Dicksee, Arthur Hughes and George F. Watts to express other ideas like vulnerability, susceptibility, nurturing children and animals, modesty, chastity, and trust. It’s important that Christian men and Christian women know how to get along with one another. It’s important that non-Christians see real differences in the way Christians treat the opposite sex.

If you like these paintings, leave a comment and I’ll write more posts about chivalry and romance. Just because I have no experience with women doesn’t mean that I haven’t read the classics. If you want to read something really good on chivalry, check out C.S. Lewis’ essay “The Necessity of Chivalry” or Edmund Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac” or Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene”.

Related posts