I have just watched Au hasard Balthazar for the first time and I seemed to notice that Keislowski was influence by Bresson. I not sure if i know how to put it in words but what are the opinions out there? agree or disagree?
I don’t see it with the Three Colors Trilogy but I haven’t watched them in a while. Are you referring to the Decalogue or some other works?
Well, Kieslowski was hugely influenced by some french cinema in his late films. Most of them were French productions though, and I’m not the most qualified person to talk about Bresson.
I would same mostly in the Decalogue but also in his later films. I feel both of them have a quality where they do not just talk about the things there characters are going through or doing but dramatize them. I am sure there are other filmmakers that do this too, but I think these two have some similarity. Like said before I am not sure how to vocalize it. Both of the filmmakers do not show things in explicit. Like in Three Colors: Red the scene where the Judge character opens his garage door to drive his car that he has not driven in ages. In a Hollywood film you would get the scene of the Judge enjoying his car ride but in Three Colors: Red you get the hint of the Judge and his character change of being a recluse.
There is a religious and moral element to both director’s work. And both filmmakes deal with the nature of determinism rather than free will. In other words things are pre-ordained in the world’s they create.
But I think Kieslowski is more of an optimist than Bresson. Kieslowski also deals with a somewhat mysterious element that borders on magic. While Bresson is a bit more severe. Although I would say the Decalogue is darker than the later films by Kieslowski.
Also aethetically both filmmakers have very different styles. Bresson is more austere with actors [or models] that fill in the space he creates. While Kieslowski has a more traditional framing device and uses warmer colors and other effects like music to elicit emotions. Bresson stays away from that.
I definitely agree with those statements about both directors even though I do not know as much about Bresson. Maybe the similarity is that they both are making films at a mature level.
It’s interesting to note that later in his life Bresson mentioned he would have liked to re-edit the opening sequence of “Au hasard Balthazar” and elide the piano sonata by Schubert, while Kieslowski’s later collaborations with Preisner from “No End” on relied increasingly on music. Kieslowski also started with documentaries about real people and ended it by consciously highlighting the artificial, while Bresson started with melodrama and ended his career with “models” who should not act in order to represent reality. One could thus reason that their artistic developments are antithetic. But there are obviously meeting points, mostly in terms of subject matter. “Balthazar” relates to the “Decalogue” series in so far that both works center around determination and suffering, and contrast biblical elements (the Passion of Christ in “Balthazar” and the Ten Commandments in “The Decalogue”) with modern reality.