"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Bresson's trademark austerity and spare use of dialogue enhance this bleak story of a withdrawn teenage girl living in a rural village where she is an outcast at school and has to cope with a troubled family life.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.
I always have a hard time summing up Bresson's films because my response is usually so emotional, or maybe it's because I'm stupid. Well either way the meekness that Bresson brings to his characters and situations where the state of suffering feels inherently human isn't always easy to get through but at the end of his films the experience is something almost transcendent. Masterpiece. And bumper cars are awesome.
This film has aged extremely well if you come into terms with Bresson's style, as the message and the insight provided rings true for most of those who are victims of a broken family, it compels us to think and make the effort to understand them instead of give them for granted by means of a look over the shoulder or a simpleminded prejudice.
Unnecessarily oblique for me the first time out. It didn't help that I had to spend a lot of my time figuring out who was and was not related to the main character. Call me a philistine, but dag on it, it helps my viewing experience when I know how the characters are connected to each other.
Bresson is the best. This was my introduction, and I was overwhelmed. I immediately understood him and his form. Endless epiphanies. He makes more sense than anybody. Favourite filmmaker, and favourite film. Amazing that he's overlooked even among film fans. They're not ready to give up the unnecessary spectacle of most films.
With every new Bresson film I see I continue to be more impressed with his work, and Mouchette is my favorite so far. For starters, it's his most tightly directed film, but also his most emotional. It's a piercing scream of pain and injustice, and total desperation. The attention to detail is as usual stunning, the images lyrical. But it's the face of Nadine Nortier that will haunt me forever. Transcendent.
Wow, perfect directing from Bresson, especially in the opening and closing segments. However, after two views I still feel little from this film. I really liked the moment at the end where the tractor driver doesn't return her gesture. However, I prefer Pickpocket and Au Hasard Balthasar.
This film felt weird compared to other Bresson works. I really love Bresson's style here, and started to understand his use of sounds to "transform" images. He's razor sharp, with most of the movie completely without dialogue. The ending seemed more pessimistic than anything else he's done, and I came away feeling less moved. Need to see it again, but so far prefer Balthazar.