It is currently Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:18 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 58 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 10:57 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:14 pm
The Devil Probably

After going through the majority of Bresson's catalogue, I want to get my hands on this one. However, I cannot find a DVD with english subtitles anywhere.

I've watched a lot of his films w/o subtitles, but my french is broken and I misinterpret the nuances of his work.

Can anyone tell me if it's worth the search, and if so, where to get a copy w/ english subtitles.


Top
 Profile  
 

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 11:06 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:56 pm
Location: Dublin
Christian wrote:
The Devil Probably

Is due from Artificial Eye UK in R2 Pal DVD at some as yet unspecified date... See mention on this page...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 2:07 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm
ellipsis7 wrote:
Christian wrote:
The Devil Probably

Is due from Artificial Eye UK in R2 Pal DVD at some as yet unspecified date... See mention on this page...

I'm sure I'm in the minority on this, but I think this is Bresson's worst film. Or, I should say, his only bad film. Whereas the rest of Bresson's work feels timeless (almost out of time), this feels so dated. It's so apparent that it was made in 1977.

There are a couple of moments of sheer brilliance, but it's my opinion that you hold off on this one until you've seen every other Bresson. Or at least everything he made up until that point (which only excludes L'Argent).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 2:23 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:56 pm
Location: Dublin
Matt wrote:
I'm sure I'm in the minority on this, but I think this is Bresson's worst film. Or, I should say, his only bad film. Whereas the rest of Bresson's work feels timeless (almost out of time), this feels so dated. It's so apparent that it was made in 1977.

There are a couple of moments of sheer brilliance, but it's my opinion that you hold off on this one until you've seen every other Bresson. Or at least everything he made up until that point (which only excludes L'Argent).

I think in this film Bresson was trying to key into and commune with what he saw as a new and special mood of 'young people' at that particular time... He wanted to be totally 'up to date' with the issues of the day, which of course made it appear very dated very soon...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 5:21 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
Christian wrote:
The Devil Probably

Quatre nuits d'un reveur, with its hippy minstrels, also seems rather time-bound to me, and I find both this and Le Diable probablement problematic in that regard, though still pretty compelling. L'Argent seems to be in a similar vein to me, but wildly more successful. It occurs to me that the majority of the films in the latter half of Bresson's career seem to be consciously engaging with contemporary youth (Balthazar, Mouchette, Quatre nuits, Le Diable, L'Argent). In a rural setting, this seems to be less problematic than in an urban one, where Bresson's obliged to be more in thrall of the mood of the times.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 6:10 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:03 am
Location: LA CA
zedz wrote:
Quatre nuits d'un reveur, with its hippy minstrels, also seems rather time-bound to me, and I find both this and Le Diable probablement problematic in that regard, though still pretty compelling.

A quick dissent. These are perhaps my two favorites - and I like pretty much all post-Diary Bresson except (hold your fire) Pickpocket and A Man Escaped. Four Nights is hilarious and a fabulously strange application of Bresson's "method". The Devil Probably seems to me to be his most pessimistic, and therefore most philosophically correct, film!

Also. I wonder what makes 'dated' - if that means 'a clear product of a time and sensibility that has past us by' - such a negative. If, say, The Devil Probably and Zabriskie Point are dated, then I'm pro-dated. What I sometimes love about history is that the past is so different from the present.


Last edited by yoshimori on Sun Sep 25, 2005 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 7:01 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
yoshimori wrote:
Also. I wonder what makes 'dated' - if that means 'a clear product of a time and sensibility that has past us by' - such a negative. If, say, The Devil Probably and Zabriskie Point are dated, then I'm pro-dated. What I sometimes love about history is that the past is so different from the present.

Actually, dated is probably the wrong term. What I find problematic about these films is not so much that Bresson evokes a milieu that now seems naive or odd, but that Bresson himself seems slightly out of sync with the milieu he's trying to depict. It's like he was never quite there to start with, and is latching onto the superficial trappings of a youth culture he doesn't really 'get'. Though as I said before, I like both films a lot (Le Diable more than Quatre nuits, probably for its bleakness).

Your other comments are interesting as well. I wonder if it's ever possible to reach consensus on Bresson's work. I'm also unenthusiastic about Pickpocket (and thought I was completely alone in this), though A Man Escaped is one of my favourite films. For the record, I find Zabriskie Point immensely entertaining and immensely dumb. Antonioni's English-language films seem to me to have huge blind spots (e.g. in regard to performance and the grooviness of mimes) I don't find in his Italian work.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 8:37 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:03 am
Location: LA CA
zedz wrote:
What I find problematic about these films is not so much that Bresson evokes a milieu that now seems naive or odd, but that Bresson himself seems slightly out of sync with the milieu he's trying to depict.

I'd agree. But, personal thing I guess, I sometimes like this kind of mismatch, especially if one of the out of sync elements is a genius.

zedz wrote:
For the record, I find Zabriskie Point immensely entertaining and immensely dumb.

I'd agree in general. But I forgive the dumb ... since it's part of a greater work of genius.

And for me, Blow-Up and ZP are Antonioni's best films probably partly because, presumably because of language issues, he could not shape the actors into ciphers for ennui and alienation, something he was great at in Italian. [And yes, the mimes are dumb!]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 10:42 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm
zedz wrote:
Actually, dated is probably the wrong term.

Not for me. Le Diable probablement has a very distinct 1977--Save the Whales/No Nukes/EST/North Sea oil spill/solar power--feel. But I think you are correct in unpacking what is the real problem. Not so much the dated-ness as the creeping feeling that Bresson is somehow trying to be a "righteous dude" and is trying to film from the point of view of a youth culture with which he is completely out of touch.

Had he filmed the exact same story twenty years earlier, though, I would probably love the film.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 8:40 am 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 3:34 pm
Quote:
Le Diable probablement has a very distinct 1977--Save the Whales/No Nukes/EST/North Sea oil spill/solar power--feel. But I think you are correct in unpacking what is the real problem. Not so much the dated-ness as the creeping feeling that Bresson is somehow trying to be a "righteous dude" and is trying to film from the point of view of a youth culture with which he is completely out of touch.

There are many films in which an older filmmaker attempts, with embarrassing results, to represent the experience of younger people, but Bresson's “Diableâ€


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:36 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:14 pm
[quote="ltfontaine"]There are many films in which an older filmmaker attempts, with embarrassing results, to represent the experience of younger people, but Bresson's “Diableâ€


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 12:41 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm
[quote="ltfontaine"]I'm curious in which passages of the film, specifically, the naysayers locate Bresson's exploitation of superficial, “trendyâ€


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:00 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:30 pm
Location: NC
The Devil Probably is one of my favorite Bresson's, but I wouldn't start with it. I love the midday "sex scene", that's bookended by newspaper reading, and the only nudity/taking off of clothes info you're given is a woman tying her shoelace. It's one of those things only film can do.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:00 am 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 3:34 pm
Quote:
I love the midday "sex scene", that's bookended by newspaper reading, and the only nudity/taking off of clothes info you're given is a woman tying her shoelace.

The denatured eroticism that runs through this film—partially, but not entirely attributable to the expressive boundaries imposed by Bresson upon his “modelsâ€


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 6:26 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:30 pm
ltfontaine wrote:
Quote:
I love the midday "sex scene", that's bookended by newspaper reading, and the only nudity/taking off of clothes info you're given is a woman tying her shoelace.

The denatured eroticism that runs through this film—partially, but not entirely attributable to the expressive boundaries imposed by Bresson upon his “modelsâ€


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:48 am 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 3:34 pm
Quote:
Sexuality in Bresson is always scarcely "instructable." It's palpable.

"Inscrutable" and "palpable" are not mutually exclusive terms. The erotic tension that runs through Bresson's films is simultaneously powerful and enigmatic.

Like Dreyer, Bresson offers a cinema that is resolutely mysterious, in which meaning is multiple, shifting and resolutely subjective. The greatness of these directors' films lies, in part, in their refusal to be reduced to a single, terminal interpretation.

In the case of "Diable," love and sexuality are fluid, but desultory, transacted in a world in which pleasure is, like everything else, essentially compromised and corrupt. Which doesn't prevent the film, given Bresson's method, from carrying an irrepressable erotic charge.

Quote:
Le Diable Probablement was quite popular with the generation of French youth it addressed.

It also resonated strongly with a portion of American youth who were fortunate enough to see it in the late seventies, especially among those of us who were precisely the age of the film's protagonists at the time.

Quote:
It's one of this best films.

Agreed.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:14 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 4:51 pm
zedz wrote:
yoshimori wrote:
Also. I wonder what makes 'dated' - if that means 'a clear product of a time and sensibility that has past us by' - such a negative. If, say, The Devil Probably and Zabriskie Point are dated, then I'm pro-dated. What I sometimes love about history is that the past is so different from the present.

Actually, dated is probably the wrong term. What I find problematic about these films is not so much that Bresson evokes a milieu that now seems naive or odd, but that Bresson himself seems slightly out of sync with the milieu he's trying to depict. It's like he was never quite there to start with, and is latching onto the superficial trappings of a youth culture he doesn't really 'get'. Though as I said before, I like both films a lot (Le Diable more than Quatre nuits, probably for its bleakness).

One might want to think about what it means to be "dated". For instance, things that seem very old -- say a film like Potemkin -- are often considered classic. They reflect their times -- and since we are so far away from that time period, we react with a distance that makes the "datedness" (not that there is such a word) seem OK, comfortable.

But when things reflect a time period closer to us, say the sixties or seventies, then we react differently. We cringe at some of language, or mannerisms.

Here is another example: in one film set at turn of the century we see people dressed in long fancy dresses, speaking in formal language; in another we see people with short skirts, saying "groovy man". Now which is dated? They both probably properly reflect their time, yet one feels 'dated' (probably the one about the sixties).

I think the answer to this lies in music. When one hears Mozart one does not say "oldies", right? After Bach's death in 1750 his music was pretty much ignored -- many considering it dated (in fact, at the end of his life, his music was considered "old fashioned"). It was not until Mendelsohn helped revive Bach's music close to 90 years after Bach's death that Bach's status began to resemble what it is today. It was the passing of time and the creating of distance that allowed what was "dated" to become "classic". Maybe some of the films that seem uncomfortable now will be easier to evaluate a decade or two from now. Food for thought.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:11 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 5:39 pm
Location: Gaithersburg, Maryland
Caught this Bresson on video the other day. Not a strong work from Bresson by any means. However, I was mildly shocked that Bresson included a nude scene of Antoine Monnier, and I cannot remember any Bresson's other films that show flesh. His films are usually as clean as you can get. Can anyone familiar with the film elaborate on why Bresson included such a scene that's totally anti Bresson?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:24 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:46 pm
It's been a few years, so my memory may be hazy, but isn't there a bit of nudity in Four Nights of a Dreamer (Isabelle Weingarten)? I personally feel that Le Diable is a very strong work by Bresson. It's certainly the most "topical" of his films, and one of his strongest social critiques. Fantastic use of sound as well. But again, it's been about 7 years since I've seen these, which I add to give myself an out.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:22 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:30 pm
Quote:
I was mildly shocked that Bresson included a nude scene of Antoine Monnier, and I cannot remember any Bresson's other films that show flesh

Hubba-Hubba!

Antonine Monnier's a BABE!! He stands as living proof that the old man's eye for male beauty was as sharp as ever. Dennis Cooper wrote a paen to Monnier a number of years back and is planning an extensive article about Le Diable Probablement.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:07 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 1:55 am
Dennis Cooper is a Bresson fan? Wow. When will that article be out?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:30 pm
He's just thinking about writing about Bresson right now. As I post Dennis is on a plane heading from Paris to L.A.

He's quite well-versed in Bresson and Guillaume des Forets (of Four Nights of a Dreamer) is a friend of his.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:07 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm
Cooper has said for years that the "flatness" of his writing style is based on the performances of Bresson's models. Also, most of his protagonists are the same sort of "pure-hearted innocents in bad situations" that Bresson favored.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 11:21 am 
Waster of Cinema
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:03 am
Screenshots from the Spanish DVD


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:26 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am
kieslowski_67 wrote:
I was mildly shocked that Bresson included a nude scene of Antoine Monnier, and I cannot remember any Bresson's other films that show flesh. His films are usually as clean as you can get. Can anyone familiar with the film elaborate on why Bresson included such a scene that's totally anti Bresson?

And isn't there nudity of the gorgeous (speaking via Ehrenstein of Bresson's good eye for nude flesh) young Dominique Sanda in A GENTLE WOMAN? It's been awhile since I pulled out my old vhs but I could swear it's in there. In fact I'm sure of it now that I think about it.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 58 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group




This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection