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 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 »
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 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,
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>
A remarkable film even though the ending is anti-climactic. An amateur pickpocket gets lucky and meets Kassagi, the real-life pickpocket who served as the film's technical consultant. The most amazing scene is the one where three pickpockets rob one passenger after another on a train, taking wallets, passing them off to each other, then emptying and dumping them (or in one case, neatly replacing the lightened wallet in a man's pocket!). The light-finger techniques seem more or less authentic, although I imagine the director's script might have called for inauthentic bits of business. (No, I am not a pickpocket; I was a mark once, and they really messed up my life for a couple of days, but I have been fascinated ever since.)
The pickpockets in this movie follow the European style of stealing men's wallets practically face-to-face. (American pickpockets traditionally prefer to steal from behind to avoid any chance of a mark seeing their faces. When I was taken, I never saw, heard or felt anything.)
LaSalle as Michel is deadpan, but that seems to be part of his character. Now and again, he bubbles a little with suppressed feeling, mostly anger. His passion for Jeanne (Marika Green) is so completely submerged that it does not come out until the end. (If you think I'm spoiling anything, you will want to skip the on screen legend that opens the film because it gives away even more.) As a love story, this does not work. I get it, though: Something happened before the film begins that makes Michel extremely ashamed. He can't be with his mother or anyone he cares about because of his guilt.
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