222 Diary of a Country Priest

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Martha
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222 Diary of a Country Priest

#1 Post by Martha » Sat Feb 12, 2005 8:34 pm

Diary of a Country Priest

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A new priest (Claude Laydu) arrives in the French country village of Ambricourt to attend to his first parish. The apathetic and hostile rural congregation rejects him immediately. Through his diary entries, the suffering young man relays a crisis of faith that threatens to drive him away from the village and from God. With his fourth film, Robert Bresson began to implement his stylistic philosophy as a filmmaker, stripping away all inessential elements from his compositions, the dialogue and the music, exacting a purity of image and sound.

Special Features

• New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound
• Audio commentary by film historian Peter Cowie
• New and improved English subtitle translation
• New essay by film critic Frédéric Bonnaud
• Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

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Miguel
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#2 Post by Miguel » Mon Feb 14, 2005 9:20 am

Here's the first page from the thread on the old forum, courtesy of Google's in cache.
deepysea wrote:You can read my interview with Kate Elmore in the News section of http://www.robert-bresson.com .
PDE wrote:I've only seen 2 Bresson films so far (Les Dames... and Au Hasard Balthazar). I thought there were some incredible moments in Balthazar, but it wasn't something I could really connect with as a whole. Does Diary of a Country Priest have a similar episodic structure and distant approach to the characters. Basically, I'm gonna be the tool who asks, "Is Diary of a Country Priest a good blind buy?" (for someone who hasn't been too enthusiastic about his previous encounter with Bresson). I would like to add that, while Balthazar left me a little cold, it was one of those rare experiences when I knew I would have to revisit the film later, you know, sometime when I'm of legal car-renting age.
deepysea wrote:Bresson was a stringently rigorous filmmaker with an aesthetic system all his own. It included dedramatization techniques like using nonprofessional actors and "flat" readings because Bresson believed actors in the theatrical tradition were too self-conscious and demonstrative compared to people in real life. He always used a 50mm lense because it's the lense which most accurately reflects human vision, he labored over the sounds in his films like most filmmakers do their visuals. Moreover, he told stories elliptically, leaving out a great deal of narrative detail and action in order to promote more engagement from the viewer. His films are demanding, but their meanings expand with time and reflection and repeated exposure. I guarantee Balthazar will grow in meaning for you if you think about it some more, read a few essays to kickstart the process, and rewatch the film in a few weeks or months or years. Les Dames, in some ways, is a more "minor" work--it's really too bad Criterion started out with that release for those of you whose introduction to film history is predominantly defined by their spine numbers.

It's not that Bresson makes inscrutable or intellectual fillms, they just deal with very interior subjects that require time to sink in and take root. Bresson is my favorite filmmaker, but several of his films left me very puzzled and confused the first time I saw them. Over the years, those mysterious elements took on very profound implications. In short, you may not be "wowed" by Bresson after watching a couple of his films--it takes a long term commitment to fully appreciate what he is doing.
meade roberts wrote:"Basically, I'm gonna be the tool who asks, "Is Diary of a Country Priest a good blind buy?" (for someone who hasn't been too enthusiastic about his previous encounter with Bresson)."

to answer your question, yes. the priest is more sophisticated than the dames and more immediately engaging than the donkey. also, i recommend a man escaped as another earlyish (but fully bressonian) film that'll help you get over your feelings of insecurity and help you to win your Criterion Eagle Scout Bresson Badge.

don't worry, soon you will understand that bresson is the one true way.
Grimfarrow wrote:Diary of a Country Priest is a masterpiece. Same as Balthazar and A Man Escaped. In these, the de-dramatization of the situation and characters work perfectly.

But if you already find Balthazar not very engaging, then you will REALLY hate "Mouchette" and "Pickpocket". IMO, those two could have been acted by sockpuppets. And, despite the urgings of other Criterion forum members, repeat viewings of both actually make me feel that they are almost on the verge of parody (though at least Pickpocket has some incredible montage of the act of swiping).

Thankfully, those are the only two Bressons that my stomach couldn't take. But considering how revered Bresson is here, I'm sure this is all a great blasphemy :p
Pedrito29 wrote:Why is that most people consider BALTHAZAR as Bresson's best film? Please explain. I saw BALTHAZAR last year and loved it to death. But the only problem I have with this film is acting. Gerard.. what a horrible actor. Then I saw DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST around last Thanksgiving and that changed everything...it IS Bresson's BEST work.. period. Everything about this film is luminous.. just perfect. So smooth, silvery, amazing. Claude Laydu - God, what a beautiful man. No man has been captured by camera more beautifully than him. The camera is so in love with him. His performance is very elegant and moving. There is nothing like this profoudly spiritual masterpiece. Isn't DIARY supposed to be Tarkovsky's favorite film of all time? If so, I'm not surprised if that's the film where he gets the inspiration for ANDREI RUBLEV. I would take DIARY over BALTHAZAR anytime... it's so much richer.
Limphead52 wrote:Why is Gerard a bad actor? It seems like stereotypical Bressonian acting to me(lack of emotion, etc.).
Persona65 wrote:Bresson would take this as a big compliment. Bad actor - good model.
Pedrito29 wrote:Gerard really throws me out of BALTHAZAR ...Not sure if it's his acting or his personality. (Need to revisit that movie.) I find Marie somewhat annoying..she's kinda stupid but you know, some young people can be like that. But the donkey makes up a lot of this film. I feel so much for the donkey and if that's what Bresson intends for BALTHAZAR, then he truly succeeds. Don't get me wrong, I love BALTHAZAR; it is eloquently directed. But DIARY is much more breathtaking. DIARY miraculously glows with every scene with Claude. If Bresson thinks "bad actor - good model", then that doesn't apply to Claude because his performance is magnificently god-like. I really can't wait to experience that again when DIARY comes out on DVD.

By the way, how is PICKPOCKET?
Pedrito29 wrote:Even though the DVD comes out in a few weeks, I decided to watch the film on VHS again this morning. All I have to say that the film is a miracle itself. I'm very blessed to be alive to see the Criterion Collection containing the three most spiritual films ever made - PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC, DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST and ANDREI RUBLEV.

It would be nice if the ancient rumor of Criterion releasing ERASERHEAD was true because that's another great spiritual film.. it doesn't look like it but it is. It's a very Catholic film - sin, guilt, acceptance, sacrifice, etc. What about CRIES AND WHISPERS...would you call it a "spiritual" film? I need to see it again.
Tadzio74 wrote:Do you find Passion... more spiritual than Ordet?
Persona65 wrote:I don't see how Winter Light is any less spiritual then the ones you mentioned. And many others. But you probably just forgot to write the word "favorite" infront of them, right?
Pedrito29 wrote:Haven't seen ORDET yet but will look for it. I can't image a more spiritual Dreyer film than PASSION.

WINTER LIGHT ... Too icy cold to be spiritually moving at all. Maybe I'm wrong but I remember after finishing it, I felt blank, cold, distant, numb...But with CRIES AND WHISPERS, the very last shot of the women on the swing..now that's spiritually moving especially after 1.1/2 hours of total darkness.
Persona65 wrote:OK, it seems we understand "spiritual" differently. For me it doesn't have to do with "moving" me. I was never moved by Rublev but it's still spiritual - but not as Nostalghia or Sacrifice, IMO. Winter Light (also in Tarkovsky's top 10) is no less spiritual then Diary, and I was moved by both.

I don't think that Cries and Whispers has much to do with themes explored in WL, Diary or Ordet. Sure, it's spiritual to some extend (we all know remember that scene very well) - almost any Bergman is - but it's mainly about human condition.
Pedrito29 wrote:Of course, we understand "spiritual" differently. WINTER LIGHT - Ingrid Thulin radiates some warmth in this icy cold film but the priest fails to embrace that.. it left me so sad and cold. But you know what? I'm an atheist and WINTER LIGHT reflects the very reason why I'm one. All those dull, empty Masses I had to suffer through for the first 18 years of my life - all for the sake of my grandmother - simply because I love her. Sounds like I need to revisit WINTER LIGHT.

I find CRIES AND WHISPERS deeply spiritual...I think it's about faith and the sisters lack of that.

The unique thing about DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST is that it's pure spiritual not in the words of the priest but in the way the camera captures the priest.. it's not about listening to his words (even though they are great), it's about experiencing him visually. Beautiful.

ANDREI RUBLEV - the artist's discovery of inspiration and faith in his work through a simple village boy never fails to break my heart. I cry every time the camera swoops away from the boy lying on the ground by the bell tower.
Tadzio74 wrote:You HAVE to see Ordet! You'll be instantly converted - it's one of the most effective films ever made on turning people to the divine.

One suggestion: don't read ANY liner notes before you watch it!
AfroRouge wrote:Have to agree - reading liner notes, comments, reviews, or anything else about Ordet really screws up the experience. I made that mistake
meade roberts wrote:I know, I know. This doesn't belong in this thread, but as long as we're on the subject, and as long as you're an atheist, don't be turned off by the idea that Ordet turns people on to the divine. Dreyer himself did not intend for an especially evangelical effect.

To get back on topic though, I will say that I find Diary much more immediately enjoyable than almost any other Bresson film, including Balthazar, but with the possible/ probable exception of A Man Escaped. Pickpocket is also astonishing, but it holds its many secrets close to the vest. People speak at length of Bresson's being difficult, and this is certainly true, but Diary is really the first Bresson film I saw in which I felt I could watch and experience his vision without having to consciously suspend my usual moviewatching prejudices about conventional film acting, editing, etc.
Highway 61 wrote:Pedrito,

I know I'm new here, but I hope you don't mind me asking you some personal questions. Anywho, I myself am 17 and a confirmed Catholic--by my own choice, not my parents--and have attended Catholic schools all my life, so I'm sorry to say I've never had much of a serious discussion with an atheist.

Reading your post, however, made me wonder what these religious films offer that sets them apart so that you--as an atheist--find them "moving." Obviously, you're not simply admiring the craftsmanship invested in the films, but instead connect with specific spiritual aspects in them. I'm curious what exactly it is that you connect with.
Pedrito29 wrote:It's a good thing that you're a confirmed Catholic by choice.. I believe that you can be spiritual without believing in God.. I do not believe in God simply because it's "invented" by tons of organized religions. Organized religions don't do anything for me. Organized religions aren't any different from governments. I attended many different churches and not one succeeded in making me a believer in God. BUT I consider myself "spiritual" ... it's a personal thing. I believe in faith and that's about it. Doing good things, being a good person.. that's all it matters. I was raised in a Catholic home and also Catholic schools and I saw a monstrous load of hypocrisy. Of course, a lot of that "belief" is internalized in me from all that brainwashing but when I see films like MIRROR or DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST, I feel so spiritually rejuvenated ...You see, MIRROR is profoundly spiritual without speaking the word - God. Maybe it's because I'm a film nut.. I don't know but I find something in those films that is missing from all the talks I had with hundreds of priests. Everyone finds spirituality in different forms.. I find mine in art, specifically cinema. Being spiritual to me is about changing and enlightening myself for better and to be in close touch with the living world. Most of all, it's about making and keeping peace with myself. I could go on and on but it's close to 4 am here.. Time for bed. Highway61, welcome to the forum.

One more thing...I have seen millions, millions of crucifixes throughout my life in tons of churches, homes, schools, etc.. not one touched my soul til I saw the final scene of DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST.. that one big nameless cross did something to me..I was full of tears - just by looking at that one cross. That changed me. Why that cross out of millions? I don't know.

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#3 Post by Miguel » Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:36 am

Page 2.
Highway 61 wrote:Thanks for the insights, Pedrito. I understand exactly where you're coming from when you say that art can move you in ways that a Mass never could. I've had my own spiritually rejuvenating experiences after watching The Three Colors Trilogy or reading Crime and Punishment. In fact, C&P affected me in practically identically the same way that the cross in Diary of a Country Priest affected you. And I agree that this sort of experience is infinitely more valuable than any words a priest has ever spoken to me.

Getting back to the topic of Bresson...I'm wondering what people's thoughts on Pickpocket are? Especially anyone who has also read the Dostoevsky novel. How do they compare? And as someone who is obviously a big fan of the book am I bound to be let down by the film?
Pedrito29 wrote: I hope I made some sense in my explanation of why I consider myself an "athiest". There is a remarkable scene in Bresson's other great work (sorry, Grimfarrow...how about giving it another viewing?) called MOUCHETTE. When Mouchette's father forces her into the town church, pay close attention to her face as she crosses herself after dipping her finger in Holy Water. It's a look of boredom..she has no interest in the Church.. it's like she's being shoved into the religion - all for sake of her family, her townfolks. I ultimately connect with Mouchette in that wonderful moment. And the irony is that she's the most spiritual of them all.

I read a few articles about Bresson and some described him as a Christian filmmaker. That kinda bothered me. I think of him as a true artist whose works are not religious but ultimately spiritual pieces of art. I feel his works apply to everyone, even the athiests.
mifune63 wrote: I dont think they mean Christian in the sense that is normally associated with our thinking. I believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ and try my best to follow them, but I don't call myself a Christian. Christianity is a doctrine that is based on interpretation from someone else besides Jesus. Therefore, if I don't consider myself a Christian I fell I am more free to intepret, analyze and welcome conflict in my spiritual life. I think this is sort of similar to Bresson.
AfroRouge wrote: Like Pedrito, I'm also an atheist who enjoys these "spiritual" masterworks. There is something higher being spoken of within these films. For me, this something is an internal, entirely human quality, but I no longer hold any disrespect for those who see these qualities as derived from something external. I have Tarkovsky and Bergman to thank for that. I have a notion that part of the reason for these films working on this level so well, given that I have pretty strong feelings about the absence of a God, is that they aren't attempting to convert or convince, but rather demonstrating the power of an individual's faith (or a crisis of that faith) in a genuine, unpresumptive way. The story is a human one, not simply a religious one. This is in sharp contrast to the public face of Christianity in the United States, be it in the form of evangelical television, manipulative politicians, etc.

I'm looking forward to seeing Diary, if for no other reason than to understand Tarkovsky a bit more. Of Bresson's work I've only seen Pickpocket (with Dames still sitting on my shelf, unwatched), and I have to agree with one of the previous posts, that the actors could have been replaced with sock puppets - it's hard to feel much for them. But it sticks with you, somehow, and I plan to revisit it one day.
Tadzio74 wrote:What an interesting discussion. You know, I too believe in the teachings of Jesus and try to follow them as best as I can. I don't consider myself a "Christian" per se as well, because I disagree with how most of the message left by Him was interpreted. I've stopped going to Masses, though I find myself occasionally having to attend one or two (the eventual friend or relative that gets married...).

I've been through a fase some years back where I questioned my own religion and the existence of God, or whatever you want to call Him. Luckily, it's all water under the bridge because it's not a good feeling to be lost spiritually. I've even consider a change of religion, but on closer inspection, ALL religions seemed to me to be simply different interpretations of the same unifying Divine Force.

So, I stuck with Jesus. And one of the reasons is because that's where my own personal spiritual past was grounded. All my personal spiritual memories came from learning this amazing Man's life and message and trying to apply them in my daylife. One cannot idly turn away from where we came from just because we're not getting the answers we want. Sometimes we're taking the easy way out when we say that God does not manifest Himself like he should, or that he's evil or something. If you look closely and attentively to what's going on around you, you'll find Him in the smallest things. I know this is a cliche, but it's SO true! This is a very personal opinion but I think that generally speaking, atheists are just bored, lazy - mostly highly civilized - persons who just don't try hard enough to find the answers; and when it occurs that they do, they try as hard as they can to dismiss them as just coincidence or at best, scientifically explainable. I'm not including you among them, Pedrito. I understood your point.

This is quite intimate to be saying in an Internet Forum, but I've had numerous spiritual experiences in the past and yes,my friends, we are - thankfully! - NOT alone! It's quite gratifying to feel that no matter what, it all turns right in the end. And if we fail to see that, well I guess we're just too narrowminded and small to see the Big Picture. Yes, I believe in a grand scheme of things.

But, still on the subject of Jesus, I'd like to point out that there is a missing Gospel from the Bible - the one written by Christ Himself. It was found years ago and one of the main things He wrote on it was this simple yet profoundly important message: "Don't look for me in churches or temples. If you want to find me, look inside yourself". This is so true. BTW, the Vatican still hasn't recognised this Gospel as legitimate... I wonder why...?

Just two more things: a) a recomendation and b) an afterthought

a) have you ever seen any Julio Medem films? I find them deeply spiritual even though they are not about religion in any way; he's a spanish director much more acomplished than Almodovar, IMHO; DO rent them, especially TIERRA!

b) have you ever noticed how the eyes of someone who doesn't believe in anything spiritual somehow seem to lack the spark of life?

P.S. I didn't mean that last remark to be offending in any way; if I've had offended anyone, please accept my apologies
Jaime123 wrote:
b) have you ever noticed how the eyes of someone who doesn't believe in anything spiritual somehow seem to lack the spark of life?

That's just stupid.

Have you ever noticed how SOME deeply spiritual people have this smug, sickening, earth-mother, condescending, passive-aggressive way about them? Maybe that's what the twinkle represents.
davebert wrote:This has turned into one of the funniest conversations I have ever seen. Bravo.
feofan wrote:
But, still on the subject of Jesus, I'd like to point out that there is a missing Gospel from the Bible - the one written by Christ Himself. It was found years ago and one of the main things He wrote on it was this simple yet profoundly important message: "Don't look for me in churches or temples. If you want to find me, look inside yourself". This is so true. BTW, the Vatican still hasn't recognised this Gospel as legitimate... I wonder why...?
Actually, what you are referring to is not really a Gospel written by Jesus himself, but rather the one known as the "Thomas Gospel" which was found in the 1940s in Egypt and contains 114 sayings which claim to be the "secret words of Jesus". The whole thing dates back to the 3rd century AD and is today usually associated with the gnostic movement. The reason why it's not in the Bible is just that it largely consists of sayings and passages that were taken from even older texts and which were then revised according to the gnostic spirit. Another reason is that many of the things that can be found in the Thomas Gospel are completely diametrical to what the other Evangelists write virtually unanimously about the teachings of Christ.

I just wanted to make that a bit clearer.
And now I suggest getting back to Bresson because this has gone a little bit OT. ;)
harrizonn wrote:This film is easily a blind buy... you can throw a rock and hit a Bresson masterpiece. Hell, even Lancelot of the Lake rocked my effin world. yo.

BUT... I'd have to say, a good place to start is A Man Escaped. It's slick and brilliant, and if you don't live in an urban area (and even then it's hard to catch viewings of the film) the VHS is cheap as all get out on amazon.com. Shoot me for recommending VHS, but it's a cheap and not necessarilly Horrible alternative to experience his film.

Steven
Simon74 wrote:Regarding why they took the deleted scenes out, from robert-bresson.com:
Criterion informs us that their upcoming DVD of Diary of a Country Priest will not include the previously announced 11 minutes of deleted scenes and rushes from the NCC. Bresson had requested that these never be made public, and Criterion intends to respect the Director's wishes
Bailey I'm more interested in knowing where you got the screenshots from. You got a copy already? I'm dying for a review...
TrulyNarshty wrote:Back cover
Gary Tooze wrote:DVDBeaver has it reviewed...

http://www.reviews.dvdbeaver.com/

Regards,
deepysea wrote:It's a middling review, but here you go:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s1105priest.html

"Criterion's DVD of Diary of a Country Priest is an almost perfect transfer of yet another classic previously experienced only in contrasty 16mm copies. It has a few negligible flaws, light scratches and suchsame. The grays have an excellent range, and the naturalistic, honest cinematography is accurately represented.

The list of extras is short but content-heavy. Frédéric Bonnard's inner liner notes reprinted from Sight and Sound encapsulize the context of the production with great clarity. Critic Peter Cowie provides a terrific feature commentary that discusses at length issues around the film and Bresson. He profiles author Georges Bernanos, and makes many comparisons between book and film. We learn a lot about Bresson's unique casting instincts. Many of his most impressive actors, such as the Countess (Marie-Monique Arkell) and the Priest of Torcy (Andre Guibert) never made another film. The unhappy doctor was in Henri-George Clouzot's Le Corbeau, and later played another doctor in the Italian I Vampiri. The Count's mistress Mrs. Louise was played by Nicole Maurey, probably best known for her role in The Day of the Triffids. The housekeeper/mistress at the end, Yvette (Jeanne) Étiévant, had a small but effective part in George Franju's Eyes Without a Face.

The original French trailer is a mystery unto itself, making the film look like a standard drama. Diary of a Country Priest is anything but."
sairwas wrote:
yet another classic previously experienced only in contrasty 16mm copies
What is he talking about..? I sure have seen Diary in 35mm.
drpauligari wrote:"One suggestion: don't read ANY liner notes before you watch it!"

this should actually apply to anything one watches....
deepysea wrote:Yeah, there's a lot to quibble with that review. Even his labeling of the cinematography as "naturalistic"--it's not at all, but carefully stylized with a soft glow formulated by L.H. Burel. Granted "naturalistic" is a problematic adjective, but we're hardly talking neorealism here.
numediaman wrote:I just received my copy today. Can someone tell me why they changed the aspect ratio? and pan and scanned this film?

[ Sorry, I couldn't help myself after reading the posts in the MGM Bergman Box Set section! Thank God we can still count on CC for doing a great job. (and yes, I "still" like the packaging for RotG). ]
Donald Brown wrote:DVDJournal.com has their review up here.
baileyhouse wrote:That joke never gets old.

I received mine on Saturday. The transfer is excellent. There's so much detail in the image.

I was a little disappointed in Peter Cowie's commentary. Perhaps I was already prejudiced against it as it's the only supplement on what should have been a feature-packed set, but I felt that it really didn't address what makes Diary such a special film. Most of the commentary was focused on discussing the accuracy and fidelity (or occasional lack thereof) of Bresson's adaptation of Georges Bernanos' novel. Having already read the novel, none of this was surprising or enlightening to me. Cowie spends much less time discussing Bresson's use of music in the film or the development of his visual style from previous films to this film. He quotes significantly from both Andre Bazin's seminal article on Bresson's adaptation of the novel and Donald Richie's article on Bresson's use of music. It would have been great if Criterion had reprinted those articles in the booklet in addition to the 2.5 page "essay" already included. A nice booklet always helps to add some easy value to a top-tier priced disc with nothing but a commentary and trailer on it.

Overall, I'm pleased to have the disc, but whenever I look at it, I'll always be thinking of what it could have been.
deepysea wrote:Well, I wanted to watch the film a couple more times before listening to Cowie's commentary, but curiosity has gotten the better of me and I've listened to a few portions--it really is quite mediocre, isn't it? I know Criterion has a good relationship with Cowie and he's an all-around dependable scholar, but was there really no Bresson specialists (James Quandt?) who could've done the job instead? I would have preferred a French commentary, subtitled, to the current one.

Every commentator wants to find their own angle into established film texts, so I suppose Cowie felt a consistent examination of the differences between the source novel and the film would be his, but really, does this necessitate reading long passags from the book instead of discussing the details of each scene at hand?

Of the little I've heard so far (and truth be told, I'm not excited about listening to the rest), he's already fudged some of the details about L.H. Burel's contribution to the film (he makes it sound as if Burel decided on a 50mm lense and soft contrast when the former was Bresson's decision and the latter was a mistake that Bresson liked and decided to implement throughout). Cowie also makes an offhand jab at Dreyer, suggesting he's sometimes akin to watching paint drying on a wall. Huh???

I'm glad this film was released and I warmly recommend the disc to everyone, but surely one of the most oft-requested and important films in the Collection deserved a better package? When Cronenberg gets a two-disc set and Bresson only gets a commentary, you've got to wonder where Criterion's priorities are.

Anonymous

#4 Post by Anonymous » Thu Apr 07, 2005 11:27 pm

I just finished watching the movie and it was simply superb. Again, I would have to agree with one of the above users who talks about the visual beauty of capturing the priest's look, and his words being an addition to this visual beauty!

I have an interesting personal matter to note... I saw the movie in 3 sittings as every time I would watch it, I would eventually get overwhelmingly tired! I cannot explain this, as all 3 times I have slept in abundance the night before. Yesterday, I slept 11 hours, yet still managed to fall asleep a bit after the movie.

The Diary of a Country Priest honestly drains my energy, as I put so much thought into my spirituality that it simply makes me exhausted!

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#5 Post by leo goldsmith » Fri Apr 08, 2005 12:51 am

Or maybe it's just a boring movie?

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#6 Post by J M Powell » Fri Apr 08, 2005 8:11 am

leo goldsmith wrote:Or maybe it's just a boring movie?
This is known as a "threadcrap". It is impolite. Please stop it.

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#7 Post by swingo » Fri Apr 08, 2005 9:05 am

leo goldsmith wrote:Or maybe it's just a boring movie?
It depends on what get your rocks off.

Diary of a Country Priest is not a boring movie, it is a moving one, that sweep your senses.

Axel.

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#8 Post by leo goldsmith » Fri Apr 08, 2005 9:29 am

J M Powell wrote:
leo goldsmith wrote:Or maybe it's just a boring movie?


This is known as a "threadcrap". It is impolite. Please stop it.

Oh come on. I'm kidding. Anthony fell asleep several times while watching the movie. Maybe he was simply bored and didn't notice?

That said, what's wrong with calling a great film boring? I have no doubt he was moved by the film (how many on this forum wouldn't be?), but he may also have found it soporific. I don't necessarily find the two experiences mutually exclusive. It says much more about the viewer and the conditions of his/her viewing experience than it does about any supposedly objective quality of the film. There are countless films that I love which bore me (however slightly) while watching them.

But hey, sorry for "threadcrapping". I meant no offense.

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#9 Post by J M Powell » Fri Apr 08, 2005 9:38 am

Wow, you're right -- that wasn't fair of me. All-too-typical failure to detect your sarcasm. Full apologies, leo.

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#10 Post by solaris72 » Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:07 pm

Has anyone ever seen the dubbed version of this film? I went to a revival screening last summer at the Charles theater here in Baltimore, and they screened a Janus print which was partially dubbed into english. The dialogue was all in french with english subs, but the voiceovers were all in english.

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#11 Post by MichaelB » Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:44 am

solaris72 wrote:Has anyone ever seen the dubbed version of this film? I went to a revival screening last summer at the Charles theater here in Baltimore, and they screened a Janus print which was partially dubbed into english. The dialogue was all in french with english subs, but the voiceovers were all in english.
That's the version that was in theatrical distribution in Britain - and still is, for all I know. The first time I saw the French-only version was when it screened on television in the early 1990s, and the first time on the big screen was in that marvellous Bresson touring retrospective in 1999.

I wouldn't call it "dubbed" as such, though - I suppose it is, technically, but at least none of the onscreen characters get their voices altered.

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Re: 222 Diary of a Country Priest

#12 Post by dad1153 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:59 pm


ken18

Re: 222 Diary of a Country Priest

#13 Post by ken18 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:34 am

I know this disc is going out of print for now. But it must surely come back - somewhere, sooner or later - being the classic it is. For what it's worth, then, allow me to note that there are some abominable errors in the subtitled English translation, ones which prevent appreciation of the key passages in which they occur.

A French-speaking friend and I were re-watching the DVD the other night.

Apropos the scene in which the priest collapses in the mud and is found and tended by the girl Seraphita: the priest's narration leading to this moment talks of the Virgin Mary and speaks of 'the face before which all must kneel'. But suddenly the subtitles refer to 'Him' before returning to the incident with Seraphita. The quite erroneous translation of 'Him' totally throws the viewer. (My friend noted that the English translation of Bernanos's novel here has: 'Yet I saw it [the face].' Certainly not 'Him'.) In other words, Seraphita's face momentarily becomes for the priest that of the Virgin Mary. But such a connection is totally destroyed for the film viewer of the English-subtitled print.

Worse, if anything, is a passage later in the film where Olivier, the Foreign Legionnaire, speaks of another Legionnaire, a priest (it turned out), who had died after being 'strung up like a sausage ... a bullet in his belly'. The viewer of the English-subtitled DVD here can only go, 'Huh?', with thoughts of some sadistic rite or perhaps of a bizarre suicide. In actual fact, the soldier in question had died after a battle or skirmish and then his body was carried away on a mule. The English translation of the Bernanos novel here has: 'How did he die? Strapped to a pack-mule like a sausage. He got a bullet in his belly.'

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knives
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Re: 222 Diary of a Country Priest

#14 Post by knives » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:16 am

Rewatched this one tonight during dinner (a rice porridge mixed with hot sauce appropriately) and I was struck by just how wonderfully Bresson shot the eye sockets of everybody here this time around. It's really a story told in the shadows of the face with everyone sunken in except the priest who has these Marty Feldman type of eyes that sorrowfully bulge out. Just forgot how great this film is.

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Jeff
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Re: 222 Diary of a Country Priest

#15 Post by Jeff » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:47 am

knives wrote:rice porridge mixed with hot sauce
Image

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 222 Diary of a Country Priest

#16 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:30 am

Mock the Cahiers du Knives, will you sir?

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Trees
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Re: 222 Diary of a Country Priest

#17 Post by Trees » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:26 pm

Any chance of this coming to blu-ray?

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Re: 222 Diary of a Country Priest

#18 Post by swo17 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:27 pm

Not from Criterion, they lost the rights.

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Trees
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Re: 222 Diary of a Country Priest

#19 Post by Trees » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:50 pm

Are there any HD transfers at all of this film, does anyone know?

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Big Ben
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Re: 222 Diary of a Country Priest

#20 Post by Big Ben » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:03 pm

No unfortunately. There appear to be very few releases of Bresson's work in high definition.

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Trees
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Re: 222 Diary of a Country Priest

#21 Post by Trees » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:20 pm

Do any 35mm prints of this get around? I have not seen this film yet, but really don't want to watch it on DVD.

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Brian C
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Re: 222 Diary of a Country Priest

#22 Post by Brian C » Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:54 pm

I saw one back in February 2012, part of a Bresson retrospective at the Gene Siskel Film Center. No idea where it came from or if it's still in circulation or not.

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Trees
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Re: 222 Diary of a Country Priest

#23 Post by Trees » Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:55 pm

Thanks, Brian C. I assume it was 35mm? If so, how was the print?

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Brian C
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Re: 222 Diary of a Country Priest

#24 Post by Brian C » Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:25 pm

Yeah, 35mm. I honestly don't recall any details about print quality; I don't even recall if it was a new print or older one.

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Re: 222 Diary of a Country Priest

#25 Post by whaleallright » Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:50 pm

A lovely 35mm print showed at the University of Wisconsin Cinematheque last year; it was distributed by Rialto.

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