Robert Bresson

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Michael Kerpan
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
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Re: Robert Bresson

#126 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:52 pm

MichaelB -- Great recommendations!

i.e. - I agree completely :-)

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whaleallright
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: Robert Bresson

#127 Post by whaleallright » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:51 pm

The Kazakh director Darezhan Omirbaev built his own style out of some very Bressonian techniques. His Killer is almost too indebted to L'Argent (and feels almost programmatic for that), but his two earlier features, Kairat and Cardiogram are two of the greatest "Bressonian" films I know. They are on a French DVD (still available) with English subtitles.

Another example would be the Indian director Mani Kaul, whose first feature, Uski Roti, is very indebted to Bresson. I believe a restored version of that one is on some streaming services.

Certain of Jean-Claude Brisseau's films take elements of Bresson's style in some unexpected (to say the least) directions. I'd recommend Sound and Fury (Du bruit et du fureur) as a place to begin; it's one of the greatest French films of the '80s, or possibly ever.

dda1996a
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:14 am

Re: Robert Bresson

#128 Post by dda1996a » Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:46 am

I actually just watched the last two films Omirbayev made: Chouga and Student. Student is incredibly indebted to Bresson, and while it lacks quite a lot I still rather liked it. Chouga was much better in my opinion, Omirbayev's ellipses and minimalism making me really giddy almost through the whole film. They both also use Bresson's silence, expressionless actors and are both adapted from Russian classics (Crime and Punishment and Anna Karenina), but it is his style that really makes the difference (and indeed what I was looking for). But I hope this brings his films to more people!
Thanks for the other two. I have most of Brisseau's films, but have yet to watch a single one. Of Kaul I have never heard actually!

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whaleallright
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: Robert Bresson

#129 Post by whaleallright » Fri Mar 13, 2020 12:14 pm

Of those I only saw Chouga and I was not too keen on it; as with Killer, the Bressonian stylistics were "applied" in an fashion I found drab and lacking in invention compared to Omirbaev's earlier films. (FWIW, Bresson's widow, Mylène, uncharitably referred to Killer as "L'argent raté.") That said, it's probably been 10 years since I saw either, so I might need to revisit.

I follow Omirbaev on Facebook, and his posts are largely quotations from Notes on the Cinematographer translated into Russian!

Btw, his wonderful short July is on YouTube (in three parts IIRC); motifs from that little film pop up in nearly all of his subsequent features.

... and if it hasn't come up, I ought to mention Walter Hill's The Driver, which features some very Bressonian action cutting(!) and uses Ryan O'Neal and Isabelle Adjani much as Bresson used his modèles.

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