When his young wife commits suicide, leaving no explanation for her act, an introspective pawnbroker looks back on their life together and tries to understand why she had to kill herself. –filmsdefrance.com
Often described as a “painter” of films, French director Robert Bresson was one of cinema’s greatest anomalies. He directed only 13 films over the course of 40 years, but these films were in a category all their own, minimalist works that tended towards radical (and sometimes controversial) reinterpretations of such classical sources as Diderot, Dostoyevsky, and Tolstoy. An expert manipulator of narrative incident, Bresson focused on seemingly incidental details of the stories he told and used amateur actors (whom he called ‘models’) lacking any trace of theatricality, creating searching meditations on the quality of transcendence, spirituality, and alienation. Of the artistic influences inherent in his work – perhaps most apparent in his belief that the cinema is a fusion of music and painting, not the theatre and photography – Bresson once said “Art is not a luxury, but a vital necessity.”
The year of Bresson’s birth has often been subject to debate; his biographer, Philippe… read more
The last film Bresson made in the most productive decade of his career was the first he shot in colour. It was also the first of consecutive adaptations he made from short stories by Dostoyevsky. The beautiful Dominique Sanda plays the young wife who throws herself from the balcony of her apartment, leaving her husband to contemplate what could have made her commit such a final act. Bold, devastating and despairing..
More gems from around the world in this quarterly Tumblr round-up.
An iconic Czech poster and its connection to a late, great New York photographer.
A look at the second, revised edition of James Quandt’s crucial anthology, Robert Bresson.
The complete retrospective will carry on touring North America through May.
Two similar and mysterious moments from Au hasard Balthazar and Une femme douce. What’s going on here?
Introducing a new series of essays on the “tightly-packed excess” of Robert Bresson.
A look at the best posters for the films of Robert Bresson, to coincide with the Film Forum retrospective.