Author Topic: Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence  (Read 6145 times)

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Seraphim

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Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence
« on: February 19, 2004, 03:50:41 PM »
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I've finally met one of cinema's VERY greatest directors ever: Robert Bresson.

Strange, no topic about him has been made yet...
He's called one of the greatest EVER, although his films are more spoken of than seen. Bresson was liked very much, both by the French New Wavers (Godard f.i.), by Jean Cocteau and especially by two of the greatest of all time, Ingmar Bergman and Andrei Tarkovsky.

I've seen Mouchette and Au hasard, Balthazar, and...OH my God...! :shock:

I can tell a lot about Bresson, his search for inner truth, purity, redemption, grace in dying, etcetera.
But maybe I'm saying more with for instance the frase "don't die before watching a Bresson movie".

You're just...not healthy inside, as a cinephile, when you put all your effort in searching all the films from Godard to Bergman, from Ozu to Tarkovsky without even thinking about Bresson.

See him- that's an order!  :roll:

All is Grace: The Films of Bresson
Bresson
Cinema of Bresson: The Failure to Find the Holy Grail
Bresson: some excellent reviews
Bresson: Depth behind Simplicity
Bresson

If you're a fan of Bergman, Ozu, Dreyer, Tarkovsky etc., at least try to find his films...
Seraphim's magic words:
Dutch
Dead Can Dance/ Cocteau Twins
Literature
European/ Art Cinema:
Tarkovsky, Bresson, Fellini, Angelopoulos

SoNowThen

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Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2004, 03:54:16 PM »
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Hmmm, I thought we did have a Bresson thread...

anyway, yeah he's great.

Now that the world wised-up and put Diary Of A Country Priest on dvd, all they need to do is get to A Man Escaped and Pickpocket.

Cummon Criterion!!!!
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

Seraphim

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Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2004, 04:06:52 PM »
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Quote from: SoNowThen
Diary Of A Country Priest on dvd

WHERE? WHEN??

Say it isn't solely in america (as usual)... :roll:

PS, no consensus has been made about Bresson's best films.
The following six are mentioned commonly as his greatest films:

Diary of a Country Priest
A Man Escaped
L'Argent
Pickpocket
Mouchette
Au hasard, Balthazar


I'm 2 on 6, lucky me. :)

Mouchette is one of his most simple and most pure films.
Au hasard Balthazar is often called Bresson's most complex, rich and most detailed work (together with L'Argent).
Seraphim's magic words:
Dutch
Dead Can Dance/ Cocteau Twins
Literature
European/ Art Cinema:
Tarkovsky, Bresson, Fellini, Angelopoulos

godardian

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Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2004, 04:07:55 PM »
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There has been no film, ever, quite like Au Hasard Balthazar, but you can say that to one degree or another of all of Bresson. I liked Mouchette, too. I'd say his ouevre is compact enough that a Criterion box set is in order...
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

SoNowThen

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Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2004, 04:09:11 PM »
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Yeah man, run out and get a copy of r1 CC Diary (if you have an all region player).

If not, well, damn, that sucks...

Man Escaped is his most "watchable" imo, but Pickpocket is the masterpiece.

Have you read Notes On Cinematography? Weird but fun read on how rigid his style was...
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

godardian

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Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2004, 04:11:20 PM »
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Quote from: SoNowThen
Yeah man, run out and get a copy of r1 CC Diary (if you have an all region player).

If not, well, damn, that sucks...

Man Escaped is his most "watchable" imo, but Pickpocket is the masterpiece.

Have you read Notes On Cinematography? Weird but fun read on how rigid his style was...


I read that Man Escaped was a huge influence on Jaques Becker for Le Trou.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

Seraphim

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Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2004, 04:23:00 PM »
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Quote from: SoNowThen
Yeah man, run out and get a copy of r1 CC Diary (if you have an all region player).
No.

:yabbse-cry:

Quote
Have you read Notes On Cinematography? Weird but fun read on how rigid his style was...
No, am searching fot it though (second hand book stores and the likes).

Great to see people like Pickpocket and A Man Escaped very much; although I didn't expect anything else, I'm more positive about future encounters with every day. :)

May I ask a "personal" question?  :-D

Personally my encounter with Mouchette, played by the "actress" Nadine Nortier, just totally amazed me, blew me away. Maybe never in my life have I seen such a beautiful (sorry, unexpressable for me), intense, graceful performance given away by a protagonist. Sadness and Grace in just one 14-year old...
Just can't explain it, but did anyone feel the same about Mouchette (the girl)?

The scene with the dodgem cars (forgive me if I'm not saying this correctly) is just MAGNIFICENT. Those expressions...those emotions. More then ten in just three minutes or so. First time I saw it, I didn't see the beauty of this scene, after my third viewing I just couldn't stop watching it..over and over again.
Seraphim's magic words:
Dutch
Dead Can Dance/ Cocteau Twins
Literature
European/ Art Cinema:
Tarkovsky, Bresson, Fellini, Angelopoulos

Seraphim

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Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2004, 04:14:41 AM »
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Quote from: SoNowThen
Have you read Notes On Cinematography? Weird but fun read on how rigid his style was...


A long-standing unrealised project was a film of the Book of Genesis (Genèse), but Bresson reportedly said that, unlike the human "models", he was unable to train the animals to do as they were told!"
Source: link

How do you mean exactly, weird (rigorous)?   :-D
Seraphim's magic words:
Dutch
Dead Can Dance/ Cocteau Twins
Literature
European/ Art Cinema:
Tarkovsky, Bresson, Fellini, Angelopoulos

godardian

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Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2004, 01:03:52 AM »
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au hasard Balthazar is coming to my street the weekend of March 19. Rialto Pictures website has a schedule... it may be coming (or have already been) to a town near you...!! Since it is Rialto, that means a Criterion Collection DVD is very possibly in the works, too.

Anyone see this release? I'll definitely be seeing it, probably first matinee that Sunday (my favorite movie time these days, though the goddamn-kids-'n-hipsters factor will likely be reduced just by the nature of this one).
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

Pubrick

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Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2004, 09:22:09 AM »
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man when i first discovered bresson, i was like 13, and had to give up hopes of seeing more of this dude's movies cos no one seemed to know/care who he was.

now sum 7 years later it's like there's been a revival of interest. what gives? must be one of them My Life To Live mysteries.

anyway the one i ALWAYS WANTED TO SEE SINCE I WAS BORN (spiritually) was L'Argent. i used to daydream about what it would be like.  :(  i still havn't seen it.. time's a muvufucka.
under the paving stones.

SoNowThen

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Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2004, 09:34:27 AM »
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Ebay video copy???
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

Pubrick

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Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2004, 09:37:22 AM »
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interesting theory..

just checked. none available to australia.
under the paving stones.

SoNowThen

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Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2004, 09:44:07 AM »
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P, go to www.facets.org


search for L'argent (and mark format VHS)


$20 american, ships in 24 hrs, they probably ship to you (for a price)
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

Ravi

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Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2004, 10:16:25 AM »
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Any news about a DVD of Au Hasard Balthazar?

godardian

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Robert Bresson: A Cinema of Grace, Purity and Transcendence
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2004, 10:47:17 AM »
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Quote from: Ravi
Any news about a DVD of Au Hasard Balthazar?


None that I'm aware of... Just saw this last weekend (and posted my rambling thoughts on my blog), so I'd imagine it's not going to be too long. Hopefully they'll start working on it the moment the theatrical revival is over.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

 

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