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,
Rich young Anne-Marie thinks she has found her vocation when she joins a Dominican convent as a novice. The convent specialises in rehabilitating female prisoners, and Anne-Marie becomes ... See full summary »
Charles drifts through politics, religion and psychoanalysis, rejecting them all. Once he realises the depth of his disgust with the moral and physical decline of the society he lives in, ... See full summary »
Henri de Maublanc
A young woman kills herself, leaving no explanation to her grief-stricken pawnbroker husband. We learn in flashback about how they met, married, and how she failed to adapt her lifestyle to... See full summary »
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... See full summary »
Charles Le Clainche,
The 'dreamer' is Jacques, a young painter, who by chance runs into Marthe as she's contemplating suicide on the Pont-Neuf in Paris. They talk, and agree to see each other again the next ... See full summary »
Guillaume des Forêts,
Bresson's first film is, totally uncharacteristically, a slapstick comedy, centred around two neighbouring republics, Crogandia and Miremia, and the various disasters that befall the ... See full summary »
Michel takes up picking pockets as a hobby, and is arrested almost immediately, giving him the chance to reflect on the morality of crime. After his release, though, his mother dies, and he rejects the support of friends Jeanne and Jacques in favour of returning to pickpocketing (after taking lessons from an expert), because he realises that it's the only way he can express himself... Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
Do you feel lonely ? -Bresson : very lonely . Very but I don't
like it to be lone !!
It would be hard for a regular movie-watcher , some one who just watches for fun , to like the movies made by formalist , strictly stylist director , Robert Bresson . But when we are aware of his elaborate work and subtlety , we admire his skill , undoubtedly .
Pickpocket ( 1959 ) , is one his best and most thoughtful films and has a key role in recognizing both Bresson and his works .
Pickpocket is about an alone and desperate writer who think of himself as a superior to the society ; He thinks he is better than others and believes to be in the right of breaking the rules and neglecting the social Contract .
He defines justice for himself as " some people have the privilege to break the laws , willingly " . He feels humiliated to do regular jobs and thus , begins pocket picking .
And from one of the most basic elements of the story , i.e. main character , there is a gap , a distance , between us ( audience ) and the film . In fact , because of non-naturalistic quality of the plot , we can't sympathize with him ; and what makes him even more distant , is the Bresson's personal touch and fond of "deadpan acting and not showing emotions " . Bresson says himself that " if possible , he prefers to utilize an image , a sound , and any other elements ( and metaphors ) instead of actors " . He wants the actors ( as a matter of fact he uses non-professional actors after his second movie ) to act deliberately and be aware of a witness called camera . In other words he wants them " not to act " .
In this movie , the cast and specially the hero are totally flat and expressionless ; even his walking style is sort of flat . But we can't reject his way of acting ( in fact , not acting ) . There is a deep coldness in this style of performance which makes it surprisingly and paradoxically acceptable and fits well in the world of the movie ; particularly , sympathetic face of the main character which increases contributes in this plausibility .
The cinematography , lighting and playing with shadows and lights in this movie is truly delicate and these factors in addition to a cold open and sort of suspension , forms the idea of a thriller movie . Yes ! Suspension is a key factor here ; and not a regular kind of suspension ; but a Bresson type .
Even , some think that sound editing in this movie , decrease the suspension in some scenes and increase it in some other scenes . For example , in some occasions , a sound or noise , inform us of the occurrence of an incident ; or repeating a sound in another scene can mitigate the effect of suspension . Also there is a scene in which the main character is walking anxiously in a crowded sidewalk ; we can not hear the sounds , the street noise and even the cars ; the only sound is his footsteps , which makes suspension .
It is true that use of music is not considerable in this film , but we can't renounce the sound effects here .
Another point is that Bresson never lets the main character to show fear and anxiety ( unlike Hitchcock who loves to do so ) ; instead he depends on images and sounds to supply the fear : sound of footsteps , images of shaking hands and cold faces ( the opening scene ) , door handle turned quietly and actually anything .
There are some references to" Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment" ; like the basic similarities between the heroes : Michel and Raskolnikov who both tend to commit crimes ; both being lonely and isolated and even the hole behind Michel's bed he use to hide the stolen valuable goods ( like Dostoyevsky's hero ) . Knowing these references , is a suspension itself ; some kind of fear .
Yes ! most of the times , we don't have music ; the music remains silent , and waits ; ( something unusual in those days of film-making ) ; yet , this small appearance of music , is fitting and timely . There is no such a thing as spare scenes or excess dialog in this movie ; everything is in its right place and for those who can't comprehend the non- naturalistic structure of the film , and can not accept fears , anxiety , and emotional disturbances of this cold hero , Bresson arranges the famous final scene in which the main character redeems through love ; with music !! Now , let us come back to the QA we had at the beginning of this article ; we see Bresson , lonely like the hero of his film ; self-consciously tries to break the rules ( another kind of rules ) ; and has a style of his own ! And make us to admire his mastership and loneliness !
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