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,
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 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 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,
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 »
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 »
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,
This is the story of a donkey and the somewhat difficult life it leads. During a summer holiday, the baby donkey is a child's pet but when they return home, it begins it's life of misery. It works as a farm animal, pulling a delivery cart and working as any manner as various owners require of it. Meanwhile, the young girl who first acquired Balthazar as a pet grows up, only to be badly treated herself by an indifferent and selfish boyfriend. Written by
The main actress of this movie, Anne Wiazemsky, also became an author; in her book "Jeune Fille", she describes the making of the movie. See more »
The "for Sale" sign that is on the fence when Balthazar runs through the gate is different to the one seen in close-up. Also, when he runs through the gate, the sign is in shadow but in close-up it is in full sun. See more »
Its restraint is its strength- beautiful monotone images, silences, gestures all laced with a a simple piano sonata that underscores the mood of the film perfectly. Trancendental and sometimes joyful, the film (in typical Bressonian style) eventually gives way to an unbearably sad vision of 'life'. As always, this film's style and content are a product of Bressons Catholic beliefs (As a hardy atheist- Bressons films are about as trancendental as my life gets...) But thats enough about style.
The content matches the style in its ingenuity and simplicity. Godard called this film 'life in 90 minutes' and it does seem to be complete in the sense that this is not 'about' anything specific- but the journey of life- which applies to us all without exception. It is this simplicity of focus on life that makes 'Balthazar' stand out as a work of cinematic art, and enables me to label it above all other films that I have seen as: my favourite. As a subjective (this must be noted) and highly moving interpretation and meditation on life, Bresson's vision is essential to anyone with a pulse.
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