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French Resistance activist Andre Devigny is imprisoned by the Nazis, and devotes his waking hours to planning an elaborate escape. Then, on the same day, he is condemned to death, and given a new cellmate. Should he kill him, or risk revealing his plans to someone who may be a Gestapo informer? Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
One of the Few Films Which I Can Confidently Call "Perfect"
Pages and pages of film criticism could be, and most likely have been, written about this film, so I will just include my simple wholehearted recommendation, in the hopes that whoever is reading this will seek out "A Man Escaped" immediately. I can think of few films with a simpler premise and plot line - it really is only about an anonymous man in prison attempting to escape. That's it. Yet, director Robert Bresson, more than any other director I can think of (with the exception of Yasujiro Ozu), can imbue the drab everyday details of life with life-and-death importance. This director could make a movie about a guy tying his shoes into a riveting cinematic experience. His style of film-making is completely unobtrusive and restrained, because he has figured out a simple truth that about 95% of all film directors never realize: the less a director tries to "push" his ideas through a film, ironically, the greater the range of ideas he is able to elicit in his audience. You bring to this movie whatever life experience and ideas you carry with you; an older child as well as an aging philosophy professor can enjoy this film equally, and for very different reasons. In addition, I believe this is also the most realistic film that I have ever seen. It takes the skill of a master to make reality into great cinema, and this film is one of Bresson's greatest. It could even be his greatest, because though his other films "Au Hasard Balthazar" and "Pickpocket" are great masterpieces, they can never have the same kind of accessibility to virtually any living person in the world as this has.
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