See also: Bresson
Robert Bresson is a Cinéaste French born the September 25th 1901 with Bromont-Lamothe (Auvergne) and deceased the December 18th 1999 with Droue-on-Drouette (Eure-et-Loir). Its art, whose spiritual and moral character can seem influenced by the Jansénisme, reveals, across an apparent asceticism, a deep sensuality.
Initially painter and photographer, Robert Bresson carries out its first film in 1934: Public affairs , burlesque film, which remains invisible as it is the wish of its author (a copy is preserved by the French cineclub). At the beginning of the Second world war, he is prisoner during more than one year in a German camp.
Chronological approach of work
1943-1945: First steps
In 1943, it carries out its first feature-length film, the Angels of the sin . Then, it is a reading of Jacques the fatalist of Denis Diderot which inspires to him to the Ladies of the Bois de Boulogne in 1945, with dialogs of Jean Cocteau. Disappointed in its first two feature films by the play of the actresses like Maria Casarès, it will decide not to more call but upon actors not-professionals whom it will name its model. The model should never have made neither theater nor cinema in order to be able to correct its interpretation. (Very) the many exhausting catches makes it possible Bresson to obtain the absolute from it. Bresson will disavow thereafter long enough the Ladies of the Bois de Boulogne too finding it " joué" as Maria Casarès who precisely did not find it enough. The film is also remarkable by the influence of the sound on the image: When Maria Casarès hangs up again the telephone and announces her revenge, the sound of the clappers is made hear then the image of Agnes (Elina Labourdette), dancing appears, which will be the means of this revenge. This technique now current was at the time new.
1949-1960: Installation and application of the theory of the CinematographCinematograph
One can summarize the idea of Bresson and his cinematograph in some principal points:
use of model, actor not-professional, not having never played.
- equality of importance enters the images and the sounds, work important of the out-fields through the stylization of those.
- multiple catches in order to obtain the absolute, hidden models, stylization of their voice.
- No sweeping of the camera, dollies generally of three-quarter, camera more and more turned towards the gestures, and the movements which ensure the bonds.
In 1949, Journal leaves a country priest adapted novel éponyme of Bernanos. The adaptation of this novel makes it possible Bresson to refine its style: It shows the life, or rather the way of cross, of the young priest of Ambricourt, right exit of the seminar, reached of a cancer of the stomach in a parish which is hostile for him. The film is composed of small scene of the daily life (Bresson films a barrel, bread,…) connected between them by the words (written or off) of the priest on his newspaper, modest book of schoolboy, who opens film. One will find this principle, thereafter in Pickpocket or in One condemned to dead is escaped . And, when it finds refuge in a défroqué priest, it will pronounce these last words: All is grace .
8 years later, in 1956, Bresson present at Cannes, One condemned to dead is escaped or the wind blows where he wants , drawn from the account of Andre Devigny, where he carries the price of the setting in scene. The account of the escape from Fountain, resistant to Lyon interned at the height of Montluc, is told in detail through its least gestures. The surgical precision of the preparation of the escape and insistence on the gestures make a film with share of it. The Great Mass in Minor C of Mozart underlines the repetition of the daily life. However, Fontaine is not described like a saint, as in the majority of films of escape, it is ready to kill Jost his comrade of cell and a German officer. Moreover, the course of Fountain is not only one sinuous escape from night in a fort but also a spiritual route to reach freedom: Pasteur and a priest are also locked up and help Fontaine; the subtitle is in addition drawn from a passage of the Gospel according to St Jean " Maintenance between Jesus and Nicodème". The film magnifie thus in a certain direction human will; it is a great public and critical success.
But it is with Pickpocket, in 1958, that Bresson reaches the top of its work. This film can be interpreted like a film on the redemption. Through the " funny of chemin" of Michel, persuaded pickpocket that certain men are made to fly for the happiness of Humanity, Bresson touches finger the grace. The music of Lully is not posed on film but emanates from it. The text in pre-credits announces film: " this film is not police style. The author endeavors to express by images and sounds the nightmare of an young man pushed by his weakness in an adventure of pick-pocketing for which it was not made. Only this adventure by strange ways will join together two beings which without it would never have known each other. "
In 1960, Bresson signs a sober and a little austere film, Procès of Jeanne d' Arc. Work is inspired by the minutes of the Lawsuit as well as lawsuit of revision which has occurred 25 years later. The film is very rigorous on the level of the historical approach and tells only the lawsuit and the death of Jeanne. It is perhaps its most difficult film of access.
1961-1967: Randomly Balthazar and Mouchette, two films provincial
In 1966, it signs its most complex film dramatically, Randomly Balthazar . Through life and died of the Balthazar ass, Bresson makes a film on the evil and the life. Balthazar once more refers to the Bible (king magus) and the anthem of the counts de Baux, who said themselves going down from the Balthazar magus who was Randomly Balthazar .
In 1967, it carries out Mouchette regarded by Claude Mauriac as his chief of work. It is once more an adaptation of Bernanos. One can retain of this film the splendid scene of the fun fair, presenting, in bumper cars, one of most beautiful and original scenes of dredger, on the music of Jean Wiener. Or the suicide of Mouchette in the river, whose dress, offered by an old gossip before, remains hung to the branches, while water is agitated curiously (effect of assembly before-back) closing again on the music of Monteverdi its tomb…
1968-1971: The color & Dostoievski: A soft woman, Four nights of a dreamer
In 1969, Bresson signs its first color film, a soft woman, whose photograph is ensured by Ghislain Cloquet, who had carried out very beautiful black and white of Mouchette and Randomly Balthazar. The film opens on the suicide of an young woman whose shawl flies to the top of the street. Her husband reminds through a length flashback his meeting with it and the life of couple. The adaptation of this news of Dostoievski is the occasion for Bresson to describe the life of (very) the Parisian lower middle class. He denounces the cinema (which he opposes to his art, the cinematograph) when the young couple goes in a dark room to see Benjamin or the memories of a virgin of Michel Deville or at the time of a representation of Hamlet of Shakespeare, badly played will learn one thereafter. Dominique Sanda interprets its first role in this film. It is, with Anne Wiazemsky, one of the rare models of Bresson to have made actress thereafter.
In 1971, new adaptation of several news of Dostoievski, Four Nights of a dreamer.
1971-1974: Lancelot of the Lake, the anti-reconstitution
In 1974, it carries out Lancelot of the Lake , film with the rather important budget on the return of Lancelot to the court of king Arthur after the failure of the search of Graal. One finds the future producer Humbert Balsan in the role of Gauvain. Bresson films while testing (and while arriving there!) to avoid distorts it historical reconstitution. It shows the life as if it filmed that of today and without magnifier decorations and costumes.
1975: Notes on the cinematograph
In 1975, it publishes Notes on the cinematograph (NRF), collection of aphorisms in which it defends its vision of the cinematograph that it distinguishes from the cinema. He thinks indeed that the cinema is only one filmed theater while the cinematograph invents a new writing with images moving and sounds comparison by the Montage.
1976-1983: Two ultimate films: devil probably & the Money
In 1978, it Probably offers a rather black image of youth with the Devil.
Its last film, the Money, is an adaptation of a news of Tolstoï, the false Coupon . Because a rich person wire of family gives a counterfeit bill of 500 francs to a photographer, an employee returns in the gears of the prison, the flight, the forfeiture, and the murder. This beautiful film was whistled in Cannes where it obtained the Grand Prix in 1983, but it is however one of most beautiful film of Bresson. The purified diction of the models surprised as well as rigorous but generous framings: Bresson is a scenario writer who gives.
It will not be able to set up its ultimate project, the Genesis, drawn from the Bible. (!) In 1995, the whole of its cinematographic work is distinguished by the Prix Rene Clair.
- “Bresson is with share in this terrible trade. It is expressed cinématographiquement like a poet by the feather. ” (Jean Cocteau)
“Bresson is a very large director, one of largest which ever existed. Pickpocket , Randomly Balthazar could be alone the cinema in entirety. ” (Marguerite Duras). The author of the Lover compared then Bresson and Tati, which she also adored: “However, with Tati, I feel less in my place than in films of Bresson. Bresson, that goes for me until the pain. Tati, until the joy. But undoubtedly that Tati drains less things in me than Bresson, it tears off. ”
Catalog of films
- 1934 : Public affairs (short film now invisible according to the wish of the scenario writer. A copy nevertheless is preserved by the French Cinémathèque.)
- 1943 : Angels of the sin
- 1945: Ladies of the Bois de Boulogne
- 1951: Newspaper of a country priest
- 1956: One condemned to dead is escaped (or the wind blows where he wants )
- 1959: Pickpocket
- 1962: Lawsuit of Jeanne d' Arc
- 1966: Randomly Balthazar
- 1967: Mouchette
- 1969: a soft woman
- 1971: Four nights of a dreamer
- 1974: Lancelot of the Lake
- 1977: Devil probably
- 1983: the Money
Documentary on the scenario writer and his work
- 1984: De Weg naar Bresson ( the way towards Bresson ) of Leo De Boer and Jurriën Rood (Netherlands), 54 minutes
Notes on the Cinematograph, Robert Bresson , nrf gallimard or folio
Robert Bresson, Philippe Arnaud , Small library of the Books of the Cinema
Robert Bresson Praise (Collection of Article of time on each films), French Cineclub
Homage of Florence Delay
- Extracted textual documentary the '' Bresson, neither seen, nor known ''
- Catalog of films and biography on CinéMemorial
- Card of the Film club of Caen
- Homage of '' Humanity '' at the time of the death of the scenario writer
- '' Around three films of Robert Bresson… ''
- Site in English
- His card on IMDb
- the cinematograph according to Bresson
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