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,
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,
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>
Insufferably boring. Pure museum piece of stultifying inaction
I guess this makes me a philistine, but sitting through Pickpocket in its beautifully rendered Criterion DVD edition was simply painful. To those who are not professional film historians, you should be aware that this is not a crime drama in any sense of the genre, and really not a drama. That's because there is no attempt, no attempt to have a plot. Pickpocket is an expression of pure naturalism in film. People simply are. There are no visible emotions, no interaction, no dramatic tension. There is only beautiful camera work--the loving caress of 35mm black and white touching the fascinating surface of Paris in the late 1950's. (There are also endless "lessons" in how professional pickpockets operate...enough to scare you into hiding your traveling money in one of those weird tourist belt things!) The film really belongs in a museum and I know that film lovers much more aesthetically attuned than I appreciate it as though it were a museum masterpiece. That's fine. But if you rent it or buy it in DVD or video thinking you're going to see one of those classic noir-inspired late 50's French crime films, you will be bored out of your mind waiting for the plot to happen. Believe me, it doesn't.
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