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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>
Robert Bresson's PICKPOCKET has an average rating higher than some of the movies in the top 250 movies on this site but I'm somewhat dismayed as to why it's so highly regarded . I suppose if you're a fan of Bresson and you want to see him do a movie in the new wave sense then you'll probably enjoy it but if you're unaware of new wave cinema and have people heaping superlatives upon it you'll probably be as disappointed as me
The story itself is relatively threadbare , there's little plot and is mainly character driven . The story centres around Michel a recently released thief who returns to his old ways as a pickpocket . He meets up with a couple of other fingersmiths and there's a bit of romance involved and that's basically it plot wise . I wasn't convinced by the pickpocket choreography either , especially in one scene where Michel robs a bloke on a bus . I doubt if anyone could have failed to notice the way Michel acts so suspiciously . Honestly if this guy came to stand beside you on a crowded bus you'd instantly be worried about becoming a victim of an indecent assault !
I do realise that French new wave cinema has a massive amount of fans and its legacy leaked into the new Hollywood of the 1970s . You can tell Paul Schrader was heavily influenced by PICKPOCKET and one of his own screenplay's mirrors the ending here . Apart from that however you're probably better waiting for it to turn up on television than spending six quid to watch it in the cinema
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