Captured French Resistance fighter Andre Devigny awaits a certain death sentence for espionage in a stark Nazi prison. Facing malnourishment and paralyzing fear, he must engineer an ... See full summary »
Mouchette is a young girl living in the country. Her mother is dying and her father does not take care of her. Mouchette remains silent in the face of the humiliations she undergoes. One ... See full summary »
A reconstruction of the trial of Joan of Arc (based entirely on the transcripts of the real-life trial), concerning Joan's imprisonment, interrogation and final execution at the hands of ... See full summary »
A forged 500-franc note is cynically passed from person to person and shop to shop, until it falls into the hands of a genuine innocent who doesn't see it for what it is - which will have ... See full summary »
Sylvie Van den Elsen,
A million miles away from 'Camelot' or 'Excalibur', this film ruthlessly strips the Arthurian legend down to its barest essentials. Arthur's knights, far from being heroic, are conniving ... See full summary »
Laura Duke Condominas,
Captured French Resistance fighter Andre Devigny awaits a certain death sentence for espionage in a stark Nazi prison. Facing malnourishment and paralyzing fear, he must engineer an extraordinary escape, complicated by the questions of whom to trust, and in the absence of options, how to kill? Written by
Was there ever a sparer, more concentrated film? The painstaking focus on the ritual-like preparation for the escape is almost wrenching in its calm severity; yet always graceful, always fluid. The details of the final escape make for one of the most memorable sequences in cinema - interspersed with episodes of doubt in which he falters for hours or more before taking the next step, just as he delays the escape itself for many days even though he knows his execution is imminent. It's almost like a sombre dance with death, or at least a morally exacting examination of one's limits and a fear of the transcendent (which in this case is represented merely by freedom itself). There are no moments of light relief or variation here, just an attention to process and causality - the concentration on the plan almost becomes a means of redemption, until carrying out the plan becomes almost superfluous if not destructive. Of all Bresson's films, this is the one that best engages on a thematic level while simultaneously working as narrative - his distilled gravity constitutes a fantastically effective suspense mechanism; a model of tight storytelling.
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