Robert Bresson

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repeat
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:04 am
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Re: Robert Bresson

#51 Post by repeat » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:27 am

repeat wrote:For me there's some unplaceable emotional quality in those two (or three) films that's maybe missing or less pronounced in the earlier ones, and also in L'Argent, which goes kind of over the top in the other direction - for me these seem to strike the balance
...now this is completely unverified speculation, but I think my slight preference for the films might have something to do with a certain trajectory away from a kind of religiously-hued fatalism towards a more materialistically inclined cynicism, which for me goes a bit over the top in L'Argent; there's no hope for mercy or deliverance anymore, just cold hard money with blood on its teeth. (I'm sure someone somewhere has argued that Haneke picks up where Bresson left off!) One of great directors, I can't remember who, said that the trick is to show an intensely dark or depressing subject in a way that leaves the viewer spiritually elated; and The Devil, Probably seems to me one of the most perfectly successful works in this respect.

Also I think it should be mentioned that these three films stand out by containing the genuinely funniest scenes Bresson ever did; Murnau said something about a truly great film having to encompass all the human emotions (I think it had to do with the criticism of the middle section in Sunrise) - and some of Bresson's films could certainly be seen slightly lacking in humour or joy.

Mathew2468
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:40 pm

Re: Robert Bresson

#52 Post by Mathew2468 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:48 am

Strangely, A Man Escaped, his most optimistic, might have the least humor whereas The Devil Probably, his unhappiest, is one of the funniest.
there's no hope for mercy or deliverance anymore, just cold hard money with blood on its teeth.
In an interview for Devil he said "Maybe it's too late." Too late to change anything.

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repeat
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Re: Robert Bresson

#53 Post by repeat » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:17 am

Rather embarrassingly, I've just found that quote about depressing subject matter etc. and it's not from any director (great or small) but straight from Richard Roud's essay on The Devil, Probably :roll: (The other one was Murnau but nothing to do with Sunrise - apparently I shouldn't try quoting from memory)

Actually I think Joan of Arc might be the unfunniest Bresson, but it's a tough competition!

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Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: National Lists

#54 Post by Gregory » Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:08 pm

MichaelB wrote:You're the first person I've ever met who thinks that Une femme douce and Quatre nuits d'un rêveur are "Bresson's best two films", or anywhere close. The first did very little for me (I preferred the Polish animator Piotr Dumała's crepuscular animated version), and while the second was delightful (not a word I'm often minded to use with Bresson), it's decidedly minor.
Another example would be the Dardennes, who included Four Nights as the sole Bresson work some years back in a list of their favorite/most influential films. They feel a great debt to Bresson's work on the whole, so I wish I knew their reasons for singling out so unrepresentative a work.


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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Robert Bresson

#56 Post by zedz » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:36 pm

The 'missing' Bresson films (this one and Une femme douce) have never been impossible to see, but (at one time at least) you did need to pay elaborate court to Mylene to get her approval to screen them. This is hearsay, but I believe the issue is that she feels those two films are uncharacteristic and she needs to be reassured that the people presenting the films 'really get' Bresson.

I think there are also print scarcity issues with Une femme douce.

beamish13
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Re: Robert Bresson

#57 Post by beamish13 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:16 pm

zedz wrote:
The 'missing' Bresson films (this one and Une femme douce) have never been impossible to see, but (at one time at least) you did need to pay elaborate court to Mylene to get her approval to screen them. This is hearsay, but I believe the issue is that she feels those two films are uncharacteristic and she needs to be reassured that the people presenting the films 'really get' Bresson.

I think there are also print scarcity issues with Une femme douce.
UNE FEMME DOUCE played at the American Cinematheque last year, and their programmers strongly emphasized how seldom it screens. The print was in terrific shape, though.

Justfor
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:12 pm

Re: Robert Bresson

#58 Post by Justfor » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:41 pm

Apparently Four Nights of a Dreamer is streaming at http://www.jookvideo.com/prog/quatre-nu ... eveur.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; . Jook video is a streaming service like Netflix. Here is a link with a little more info on them
http://www.screendigest.com/news/2013_0 ... /view.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; . It's 6.99
euros a month to sign up. Unfortunately
it is only available in France, Monaco, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Andorra and France's overseas territories.
The picture quality from the screenshots appears much better than the VHS rip that is circulating on the internet though
I expect there will be no option for subtitles.

Stefan Andersson
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:02 am

Re: Robert Bresson

#59 Post by Stefan Andersson » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:22 am

Un Femme Douce now restored in 2K (1:66) and showing at the Lumière Film Festival in France (French re-release Nov. 6):

Distributeur : Les Acacias
Restauration 2K menée à partir du négatif original 35mm, avec les laboratoires Éclair. Le scan des images brutes a été conservé sur LTO5, support numérique de préservation, le plus approprié à ce jour. La restauration image est faite en utilisant les logiciels de filtrage, de stabilisation, de réduction de bruit, et, enfin, une palette type Flame pour les gros défauts. Avec la collaboration de Mylène Bresson. Présenté en avant-première de sa ressortie le 6 novembre 2013.

(OCN restored in 2K by Éclair labs -- scanned with digital system LTO5 --- filtering, stabilization, noise reduction performed -- Flame program applied to materials -- in cooperation with Mylène Bresson).

The film has a distributor -- perhaps DVD/Blu rights will be available...

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Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: Robert Bresson

#60 Post by Matt » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:26 am

Stefan Andersson wrote:Flame program applied to materials
Oh no.

UPDATE: Look, I found the first screen capture of the new restoration!

Image

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HerrSchreck
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Re: Robert Bresson

#61 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:56 am

Yeah UNE FEMME DOUCE was one of those NY'er Video refugees. Thank god I held on to my old storebought VHS from all those years ago. Still plays like a charm, and btw I don't find this film "uncharacteristic" Bresson at all. It's a very pure film, and his aesthetic is all over it.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Robert Bresson

#62 Post by Mr Sausage » Sat Oct 18, 2014 4:11 pm

Bresson's Movies

A movie of Robert
Bresson's showed a yacht,
at evening on the Seine,
all its lights on, watched

by two young, seemingly
poor people, on a bridge adjacent,
the classic boy and girl
of the story, any one

one cares to tell. So
years pass, of course, but
I identified with the young,
embittered Frenchman,

knew his almost complacent
anguish and the distance
he felt from his girl.
Yet another film

of Bresson's has the
aging Lancelot with his
awkward armor standing
in a woods, of small trees,

dazed, bleeding, both he
and his horse are,
trying to get back to
the castle, itself of

no great size. It
moved me, that
life was after all
like that. You are

in love. You stand
in the woods, with
a horse, bleeding.
The story is true.


--Robert Creely, 1982.

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RobertB
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Re: Robert Bresson

#63 Post by RobertB » Thu May 12, 2016 2:26 pm

New York Review Books are publishing two Bresson books in November. Bresson on Bresson: Interviews, 1943-1983 (first US publication) and Notes on the Cinematograph. In the autumn books catalogue they state "We are talking to various film venues about showing Bresson films tied to the publication of our two Bresson books."

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Trees
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Re: Robert Bresson

#64 Post by Trees » Thu May 12, 2016 8:17 pm

Is the Une Femme Douche restoration streaming anywhere? What is the best way to see it in HD right now?

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Randall Maysin
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Re: Robert Bresson

#65 Post by Randall Maysin » Thu May 12, 2016 8:27 pm

:lol:

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Trees
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Re: Robert Bresson

#66 Post by Trees » Thu May 12, 2016 8:29 pm

When does Filmstruck go live? :D

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: Robert Bresson

#67 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Fri May 13, 2016 1:13 am

Trees wrote:Is the Une Femme Douche restoration streaming anywhere? What is the best way to see it in HD right now?
Here's the trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQVu1-syEBM" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Trees
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Re: Robert Bresson

#68 Post by Trees » Fri May 13, 2016 2:12 am

NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote:
Trees wrote:Is the Une Femme Douche restoration streaming anywhere? What is the best way to see it in HD right now?
Here's the trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQVu1-syEBM" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Such grace, such poise, such ELEGANCE.

Okay, let's get back on track: Tarkovsky speaks about Bresson.

Calvin
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am

Re: Robert Bresson

#69 Post by Calvin » Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:04 pm

Four Nights of a Dreamer was released on Blu-Ray in Japan a few weeks ago. Not English friendly, as you'd expect.


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ando
Bringing Out El Duende
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Re: Robert Bresson

#71 Post by ando » Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:25 pm

There's a short retrospective on Bresson's most well known films in Brooklyn over the next two weeks. The four or five featured are accompanied by a mix of his personal favorites and film's supposedly inspired by him. Not an a terribly imaginative lineup, imo, but you may find one or two worth the trip.

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whaleallright
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Re: Robert Bresson

#72 Post by whaleallright » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:07 pm

I believe that group of films was drawn from a list Bresson submitted to the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique. The list looks a lot like the first Sight & Sound top ten, which is to say it's basically ten of the most critically-recognized, canonical films ca. 1952. A list that almost anyone could have put together without much reflection. Although I've no doubt that Bresson was influenced by the Soviet montage filmmakers in particular (David Bordwell had an essay in Artforum about this once upon a time), otherwise the list doesn't really tell you anything about him, except that he wasn't really a cinephile in the sense we'd get used to with the nouvelle vague directors, etc.

That said, it's nice to see Man of Aran revived, as that film seems in danger of being forgotten....

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domino harvey
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Re: Robert Bresson

#73 Post by domino harvey » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:15 pm

Bresson's list comes from Cahiers' "Best Films of Our Lives" feature in 1952 where they polled directors for their Top 10s. Bresson couldn't even do that. From our own jdcopp's translation:
Robert Bresson
1.....The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin 1925)
2.....City Lights (Charles Chaplin 1931)
3.....Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein 1925)
4.....Brief Encounter (David Lean 1945)
5.....Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica 1948)
6.....Man of Aran (Robert Flaherty 1934)
7.....Louisiana Story (Robert Flaherty 1948)
Bresson wrote that he was "sorry to be unable to provide a more extensive list, but I only rarely go to the movies."

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ando
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Re: Robert Bresson

#74 Post by ando » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:14 pm

LOL That's great. Not even Kane, thank heavens.

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zedz
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Re: Robert Bresson

#75 Post by zedz » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:48 pm

ando wrote:LOL That's great. Not even Kane, thank heavens.
I think that's less about Bresson bucking any trends and much more about 1952 being pre-Kane, as the film didn't really emerge as canonical until later in the decade. It didn't figure on Sight & Sound's inaugural best films poll in 1952, for instance, but topped the list in 1962 (and for the following five decades). In the meantime, it scraped in at number nine on the Brussels' World's Fair list in 1958. That was the most prestigious such list yet compiled, and Kane was one of only three sound films on it (the others were Bicycle Thieves and La Grande Illusion). I think that was the sound of the bulldozer revving up.

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