IMDb > Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Impassioned Eye (2003)

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Impassioned Eye (2003) More at IMDbPro »Henri Cartier-Bresson - Biographie eines Blicks (original title)

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Heinz Bütler (writer)
View company contact information for Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Impassioned Eye on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 July 2007 (Germany) See more »
Heinz Bütler interviews Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) late in life. Cartier-Bresson pulls out photographs... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
"Aim well, shoot fast, and scram" See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order)
Henri Cartier-Bresson ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Alexander Brooks ... Narrator (voice) (as Leslie Csuth)
Robert Delpire ... Himself
Elliott Erwitt ... Himself

Isabelle Huppert ... Herself
Josef Koudelka ... Himself

Arthur Miller ... Himself
Ferdinando Scianna ... Himself

Directed by
Heinz Bütler 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Heinz Bütler  writer

Produced by
Heinz Bütler .... executive producer: Xanadu Film
Wolfgang Frei .... executive producer: NZZ
Agnes Sire .... executive producer: Fondation HCB (as Agnès Sire)
Cinematography by
Matthias Kälin 
Film Editing by
Anja Bombelli 
Sound Department
Pascal Despres .... sound (as Pascal Desprez)
Matthieu Imbert .... sound
Henri Maïkoff .... sound (as Henri Maikoff)
Jürg von Allmen .... re-recording mixer
Jürg von Allmen .... sound designer
Martin Witz .... sound
Luc Yersin .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Henri Cartier-Bresson .... still photographer
Other crew
Catherine Schelbert .... translator
Hnia Assabi .... thanks
Diane Auberger .... thanks
Isi Beller .... thanks
Claude Bernard .... thanks
Marie-Pierre Bride .... thanks
Catherine Bélanger .... thanks
Henri Cartier-Bresson .... thanks
Tristan Cassiet .... thanks
Régis Chalmel .... thanks
Ronnie Chammah .... thanks
Jean-Patrick Chatellard .... thanks
Tamara Corm .... thanks
Miriam Dacosta .... thanks
Robert Delpire .... thanks
Marie-Thérèse Dumas .... special thanks
Aypéri Ecer .... thanks
Elliott Erwitt .... thanks
Martine Franck .... thanks
Edita Gassmann .... thanks
Marie-Pierre Giffey .... thanks
Isabelle Huppert .... thanks
François Kerautret .... thanks
Josef Koudelka .... thanks
Pierre Loyrette .... thanks
Anne Maniglier .... thanks
Elisa Mazza .... thanks
Arthur Miller .... thanks
Daniel Mordac .... thanks
François-Xavier Roch .... thanks
Ferdinando Scianna .... thanks
Serge Toubiana .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Henri Cartier-Bresson - Biographie eines Blicks" - Switzerland (original title)
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72 min


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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
"Aim well, shoot fast, and scram", 1 June 2006
Author: ( from Portland, Oregon, United States

A presentation of the master photographer's wondrous work, hosted by Cartier-Bresson himself, filmed probably no more than a year or two before his death in 2004, just short of his 96th birthday.

His life was long and rich. Trained as a painter, he became fascinated with and devoted to the camera in his early 20s, though he always tended to dismiss those who applied the term "art" to his pictures, maintaining that they were just gut reactions to moments he happened upon. (His advice to other photographers sounds more like a tip for assassins: "aim well, shoot fast, and scram.") In 1936 he became second assistant in the studio of Jean Renoir, who insisted that he also act in Renoir's films, in order to experience being on the other side of the camera (he played a butler in Renoir's 1939 classic, "Rules of the Game," and also had a bit part in the 1936 film, "A Day in the Country").

He worked for the Underground and hid from the Nazis during the French occupation, an experience that contributed to his "ferocious shyness" - to use one biographer's term - in the years that followed. In 1947 he was a co-founder of the great independent photojournalism cooperative, Magnum, along with Robert Capa. Late in his life, he returned to drawing, and he shows us some marvelous human figures.

This film features unexpected talking heads, Isabelle Huppert and Arthur Miller, along with various photographers, in addition to segments of a long interview in French with M. Cartier-Bresson himself. Rather than subtitles, a voice-over English translation is superimposed on the sounds of Cartier-Bresson's voice, like a UN Conference broadcast. This is at first annoying, but one gets used to it. And there was little choice. Subtitles would have intruded visually on the excellent shots of the photos, which often fill the screen, and that would have been more intrusive yet.

At least 100 photos are displayed, and it is a nice touch that the location and date for each are given briefly, then faded out. Every photo seems a masterpiece of form, and of humanity on the move. Such was Cartier-Bresson's skill in seizing the moment, the split second that is right for the shot, the one almost gets the sense that people are moving in his photos. There is a piano soundtrack. The photographer's head nods to the music, so we know that he is listening along with us, and that too is a splendid nuance. My grade: B+ 8/10.

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