That Godard quote is ridiculous. It's like saying a documentary is sadistic for presenting certain truths. Sometimes I want to slap Godard.
For some reason it seems Bresson portrays human characters and emotions in a way that simply doesn't appeal to me. Once again, with Mouchette, I didn't feel any empathy or connection, while the movie clearly tries to move you. Somehow, interactions between and responses of people in this film don't make sense to me, so all that's left for me to enjoy is the carefully crafted photography and the interesting theme.
Simply a Moving Masterpiece. Makes me wonder is it given any influence on Dardenne's. esp "Rosetta" ?
"Both Christian and sadistic," said Godard of Bresson's morality play in the trailer for which he recently claimed long-assumed responsibility, committing a typically arch redundancy but also getting right to the heart of the matter. Mouchette is as perfectly heartbreaking and cruel as any crucifixion, and Bresson, like God, can look like some kind of bastard for letting it happen. But Bresson, like God (may he rest in peace), also sets his tragedy in a bejeweled landscape of scarred grace, which has to count for something.
"Un moment, par une sorte de jeu sinistre, elle renversa la tête en arrière, fixant le point le plus haut du ciel. L’eau insidieuse glissa le long de sa nuque, remplit ses oreilles d’un joyeux murmure de fête. Et, pivotant doucement sur les reins, elle crut sentir la vie se dérober sous elle tandis que montait à ses narines l’odeur même de la tombe."
Bresson's trademark austerity and spare use of dialogue enhance this bleak story of a withdrawn teenage girl living in a rural village where she is an outcast at school and has to cope with a troubled family life. Misfortune and misery pile upon her shoulders when she becomes involved in a dispute between two villagers, leading to a quite devastating finale that is one of the most beautifully directed I've ever seen.
whether she dies or not, this final image is a metaphor for loss of self. It may or may not be the end of her life, but, in any event, it truly is the end of Mouchette, the thirteen year-old girl who grew up too quickly. Read More: http://aestheticsofthemind.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/mouchette/
I still haven't seen a Bresson film that has moved me like Au Hasard Balthazar. Mouchette is similar in conception, but it suffers slightly from its own relentlessness. So much bad happens to Mouchette that it gets to be almost parodic. Bresson's economy of form and attention to detail are really the star of the show. He forces you to intellectually involve yourself in his work. No sweeping emotions like Dreyer.