The Films of Robert Bresson

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I'm glad Diary of a Country Priest did well, but I have to admit, I'm a little distressed at the (near) lack of love for Pickpocket.

― Gukbe, Wednesday, June 27, 2007 2:09 AM (2 years ago) Bookmark

this at least gives me encouragement to watch the kinda old-time bressons that i've avoided for awhile.

did anyone ever read/flick through notes on cinematography?

high-five machine (schlump), Monday, 11 January 2010 00:02 (nine years ago) link

I would have voted Lancelot too!

Gravel Puzzleworth, Monday, 11 January 2010 00:04 (nine years ago) link

For a second I thought I was on the Walker Percy thread and was gonna say: RONG!

lex submerge (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 11 January 2010 00:07 (nine years ago) link

Country Priest is the most emotionally affecting, L'Argent is his most accomplished, Le Diable is his darkest, Une Femme Douce is his most visually-beautiful, perhaps.

vittorio de sickofitall (Daruton), Monday, 11 January 2010 04:10 (nine years ago) link

have only seen country priest. it's heavy as fuck but i think there was something precious in there. i've heard you need to watch it differently to most other films. my best friend told me that. we will watch it again some day. the priest's relationship with that young lady/girl was intriguing

Country Priest still my favourite.

moron oil (Gukbe), Monday, 11 January 2010 04:13 (nine years ago) link

also RIP that actress who jumped in front of a train :(

moron oil (Gukbe), Monday, 11 January 2010 04:14 (nine years ago) link

country priest would have been my pick if i'd voted. i don't think i can watch the donkey again.

strongohulkingtonsghost, Monday, 11 January 2010 04:56 (nine years ago) link

Still haven't watched A Man Escaped.

queen frostine (Eric H.), Monday, 11 January 2010 05:06 (nine years ago) link

You should! It's a rather straightforward story (man is arrested, man devises way of breaking out, etc.), but the way Bresson films it can pretty much only be described as "poetic".

vittorio de sickofitall (Daruton), Monday, 11 January 2010 05:11 (nine years ago) link

I'm sure it's great. Everything Bresson did was.

queen frostine (Eric H.), Monday, 11 January 2010 05:31 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

Ignatiy V inaugurates a series of essays:

http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/robert-bresson-the-over-plenty-of-life

related to 2-week NYC retro:

http://www.filmforum.org/films/bresson.html

Dr Morbois de Bologne (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:11 (seven years ago) link

Diary of a Country Priest is extraordinary. So much Bresson still to watch.

glumdalclitch, Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:19 (seven years ago) link

xp really weird to think that "that dude from the arty video store" is now an "authority"

tanuki, Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:22 (seven years ago) link

The Trial of Joan of Arc pulls off the climactic barbecue better than the other 3 Jeanne films I've seen.

Dr Morbois de Bologne (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 11 January 2012 15:14 (seven years ago) link

"just a little bread dipped in wine..."

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 11 January 2012 15:22 (seven years ago) link

We've got a big series starting at the Lightbox next month (hooked in to the same series showing in NY, undoubtedly):

http://tiff.net/filmsandschedules/tiffbelllightbox/2012/4400000375

clemenza, Wednesday, 11 January 2012 15:32 (seven years ago) link

yes, full North American tour:

http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/complete-bresson-retrospective-to-tour-north-america

Dr Morbois de Bologne (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 11 January 2012 15:37 (seven years ago) link

Apparently George Cukor is responsible for evangelizing about Bresson's greatness after watching Country Priest.

lumber up, limbaugh down (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 January 2012 15:38 (seven years ago) link

I.V. on Bresson and comedy:

http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/the-comedy-stylings-of-robert-bresson

Dr Morbois de Bologne (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 14 January 2012 16:02 (seven years ago) link

Diary... is so great.

Pains me to say it: his version of the Joan of Arc story is the weakest of the four, adds nothng to Dreyer's version beyond the non-silence of it. V well made staged and made and yet..

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 15 January 2012 11:52 (seven years ago) link

Four? I think I also know of Preminger, Victor Fleming and Rivette versions, I guess that's four

Mayne ... Or Astro-Mayne? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 15 January 2012 12:32 (seven years ago) link

I hope you're not including the Milla Jovovich version

tanuki, Sunday, 15 January 2012 14:02 (seven years ago) link

VF version with Ingrid Bergman in the title role was on last week but I didn't watch it.

Mayne ... Or Astro-Mayne? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 15 January 2012 14:18 (seven years ago) link

I didn't know there was a Rivette version! Was thinking of Dreyer, Bresson, Ingrid then Jovovich.

The Jovovich version has 'tude ;-), which is more than can be said for the Bresson version.

Dreyer, with the right soundtrack (or even completely silent) is best.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 15 January 2012 21:35 (seven years ago) link

Havne't seen Ingrid and that has to be corrected.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 15 January 2012 21:35 (seven years ago) link

Sandrine Bonnaire is Joan in the Rivette version. I only saw Part I, the first four hours.

Das Lexist (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 15 January 2012 21:39 (seven years ago) link

the films of robert depression

maghrib is back (Hungry4Ass), Sunday, 15 January 2012 21:45 (seven years ago) link

Looked this up, and I had forgotten, basically because I sense it probably won't be very good. Not sure he's the go to guy for 'The Battles'; they probably involve toy horses. xp = the end of Pickpocket gave me a very warm feeling.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 15 January 2012 21:47 (seven years ago) link

xp really weird to think that "that dude from the arty video store" is now an "authority"

― tanuki, Sunday, January 8, 2012 12:22 PM (1 week ago) Bookmark

hyou mean ignatiy? hes a real good writer....

maghrib is back (Hungry4Ass), Sunday, 15 January 2012 21:47 (seven years ago) link

oh i know — didn't mean it as a slight, just weird seeing reg'lar folks become "celebrities"

tanuki, Sunday, 15 January 2012 21:48 (seven years ago) link

Didn't dislike what I saw of the Rivette, just didn't have the opportunity to see the rest of it.

Das Lexist (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 15 January 2012 21:50 (seven years ago) link

so what of Four Nights of a Dreamer? New print tonight.

Dr Morbois de Bologne (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 19 January 2012 15:23 (seven years ago) link

it's coming here in feb -- une femme douce and jeanne d'arc this sunday.

tanuki, Thursday, 19 January 2012 15:33 (seven years ago) link

braggin alert - i saw "a man condemned to die has escaped" on the big screen, with a pristine print

it is incredibly intense, basically pure action in the sense of not much talking, tiny noises having huge significance, the relationship of bodies in space driving the plot forward

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 19 January 2012 22:12 (seven years ago) link

and i love how the title says it all: the plot is entirely given away, so all that's left is the action of how it happens, and your empathy with this guy being enough to draw you into feeling what he's feeling

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 19 January 2012 22:14 (seven years ago) link

lLes Anges du péché and Les Dames de Bois du Boulogne at GSFC last night — a treat to see Les Dames on the big screen but Les Anges was the highlight — probably his most "literary" film, really excellent dialogue and a lot more in common with his later films than I'd expected.

tanuki, Sunday, 29 January 2012 16:46 (seven years ago) link

i'd like to come down to chicago to see the ones i haven't seen on the big screen, esp four nights of a dreamer which i've only seen in a nth generation VHS bootleg.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Sunday, 29 January 2012 20:47 (seven years ago) link

yeah, really excited about that one.

tanuki, Sunday, 29 January 2012 21:42 (seven years ago) link

Anyone in this thread planning to see the series at the National Gallery (Washington, DC)?

stop me before i eat again (j.lu), Monday, 30 January 2012 15:42 (seven years ago) link

I am. Hyped for it.

encarta it (Gukbe), Monday, 30 January 2012 15:43 (seven years ago) link

saw A Man Escaped again last week, tot forgot about the teenage Matt Damon type who enters midway.

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Monday, 30 January 2012 15:44 (seven years ago) link

UGGGH. Netflix has pulled L'Argent from its roster. Saw it years ago but wanted to refresh my memory.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 30 January 2012 15:45 (seven years ago) link

Yeah the New Yorker Video DVD is long OOP. I saw it when Doc Films played it here the year before last and I'll see it again when it plays at GSFC (which would make it my most-watched Bresson).

tanuki, Monday, 30 January 2012 15:55 (seven years ago) link

I watched L'Argent on Hulu Plus a few weeks ago. Don't know if it's still there.

circa1916, Monday, 30 January 2012 21:13 (seven years ago) link

bleh, we're not getting this retro til may

donna rouge, Monday, 30 January 2012 22:02 (seven years ago) link

getting it again in Brooklyn in April....

I didn't know this abt Man Escaped:

Original author Andre Devigny served as adviser on the film, which was actually shot in the same Montluc prison where he was incarcerated. Devigny also loaned Bresson the ropes and hooks he had used in his escape.

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Monday, 30 January 2012 22:25 (seven years ago) link

iirc, l'argent is part of Criterion's hulu lineup, with a dvd/blu forthcoming.

also: Olive films has The Devil, Probably in their pipeline.

Lady Writer, Male Seether (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 30 January 2012 22:26 (seven years ago) link

Four Nights of a Dreamer was brilliant — certainly explodes the narrative of his oeuvre sliding from bleak to bleaker in his later films. I had read that it was supposedly more "comedic" than his others but I didn't think it would be so funny! I hope a new DVD is in the works.

tanuki, Sunday, 5 February 2012 21:08 (seven years ago) link

saw it originally years ago, only remember the feelings of estrangement and loneliness

Dan S, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 02:40 (one month ago) link

remember really liking Au Hasard Balthazar, looking forward to seeing that one again

Dan S, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 02:53 (one month ago) link

loved Pickpocket as much as A Man Escaped

Dan S, Thursday, 17 October 2019 01:38 (three weeks ago) link

I Lancelot of the Lake a lot. It’s strange.

circa1916, Thursday, 17 October 2019 01:59 (three weeks ago) link

I like*

circa1916, Thursday, 17 October 2019 01:59 (three weeks ago) link

want to see Lancelot du Lac, not sure how at the moment, going to watch Diary of a Country Priest again and looking forward to Mouchette and L'Argent

Dan S, Thursday, 17 October 2019 03:13 (three weeks ago) link

yeah that one rules

The Devil, Probably escaped me

flappy bird, Thursday, 17 October 2019 04:06 (three weeks ago) link

loved man escaped, thought pickpocket was trash soz

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 17 October 2019 07:26 (three weeks ago) link

I assigned Pickpocket to my students this week, and they've written well about it.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 17 October 2019 10:17 (three weeks ago) link

don't know how my post could be improved on really

though i should have mentioned that the photography is just jawdroppingly gorgeous

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 17 October 2019 10:40 (three weeks ago) link

just saw Mouchette, it is also great, with perfectly economical storytelling

Dan S, Sunday, 27 October 2019 22:01 (two weeks ago) link

didn't know Bresson beyond Balthazar before now

Dan S, Sunday, 27 October 2019 22:10 (two weeks ago) link

all three of the ones I've seen - A Man Escaped, Pickpocket, Mouchette - have a ruthless, closed-off quality

Dan S, Sunday, 27 October 2019 22:31 (two weeks ago) link

Good description

Ferlinghetti Hvorostovsky (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 27 October 2019 22:40 (two weeks ago) link

L'Argent is another incredible film. I really like his style as a director

Dan S, Friday, 8 November 2019 01:00 (five days ago) link

A Man Escaped is so good. The truncated Gestapo guards in it is something that sticks in the memory, if I'm remembering it right you only see angled/restricted shots of them mostly and that adds to the feeling of de-humanised hopeless dread.

calzino, Friday, 8 November 2019 01:15 (five days ago) link

enjoyed reading Ebert's tribute article from when he died in 1999:

https://www.rogerebert.com/interviews/robert-bresson-was-master-of-understatement

Dan S, Friday, 8 November 2019 01:32 (five days ago) link

I like the quote: "If the eye is entirely won, give nothing or almost nothing to the ear. One cannot be at the same time all eye and all ear."

Dan S, Friday, 8 November 2019 01:54 (five days ago) link

I went to a screening of Pickpocket once and another random guy who was there followed me afterward trying to get me to admit it was pretentious bullshit.

Chris L, Friday, 8 November 2019 02:10 (five days ago) link

Good one

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 9 November 2019 02:41 (four days ago) link

don't think his films are pretentious but they are on the surface inscrutable

Dan S, Saturday, 9 November 2019 02:57 (four days ago) link

they seem very modest

Dan S, Saturday, 9 November 2019 03:01 (four days ago) link

My post was an xpost to Dan S, but I guess it works either way.

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 9 November 2019 03:04 (four days ago) link

I like that only the most significant moments mattered to him: “He pared down every scene and shot, every movement and utterance of his performers, to the bare essentials. Each situation, image, and sound had to have a sharpness, a freshness, a novelty. That is why Bresson’s cinema is forever modern” (Adrian Martin, Criterion)

Dan S, Saturday, 9 November 2019 03:32 (four days ago) link

don't think his films are pretentious but they are on the surface inscrutable

― Dan S, Friday, November 8, 2019 9:57 PM

Really? His films mean what they say.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 9 November 2019 03:34 (four days ago) link

I think I mean that he doesn't bother to explain anything, you have to make your own interpretation

Dan S, Saturday, 9 November 2019 03:38 (four days ago) link

Martin's review of L'Argent and Bresson is good I think

https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/4719-l-argent-the-weight-of-the-world

Dan S, Saturday, 9 November 2019 03:54 (four days ago) link


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