363 Mouchette

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
Post Reply
Message
Author
cdnchris

363 Mouchette

#1 Post by cdnchris » Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:31 pm

Mouchette

Image

Robert Bresson plumbs great reservoirs of feeling with Mouchette, one of the most searing portraits of human desperation ever put on film. Faced with a dying mother, an absent, alcoholic father, and a baby brother in need of care, the teenaged Mouchette seeks solace in nature and daily routine, a respite from her economic and pubescent turmoil. An essential work of French filmmaking, Bresson's hugely empathetic drama elevates its trapped protagonist into one of the cinema's great tragic figures.

Special Features

• New, restored high-definition digital transfer
• Audio commentary by renowned film scholar, critic, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
• Au hasard Bresson, a half-hour documentary about the director, including behind-the-scenes footage of Robert Bresson directing Mouchette
• “Traveling,â€

Criterionforum.org user rating averages


User avatar
ellipsis7
Posts: 2417
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:56 pm
Location: Dublin

#2 Post by ellipsis7 » Fri Dec 23, 2005 1:31 pm

Seems very credible... Has been released theatrically by Rialto, and a decent restored print was recently released on DVD by Nouveaux in R2 (along with BALTHAZAR)... So would make sense as the next Bresson in the CC in 2006..

User avatar
backstreetsbackalright
Posts: 531
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 6:49 pm
Location: 313

#3 Post by backstreetsbackalright » Fri Dec 23, 2005 2:19 pm

I've figured on that one coming out in 2006 anyway, what with the aforementioned Rialto release and all. Premiere printing that can't be bad news, tho!

User avatar
Gordon
Waster of Cinema
Posts: 1682
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:03 am

#4 Post by Gordon » Sat Dec 24, 2005 9:20 am

I have held off on the Nouveaux edition, as it always seemed likely that a Criterion edition would come along, hopefully with a commentary comparable to the quality of James Quand's on Pickpocket.

And still we wait for Artificial Eye to release A Man Escaped, etc. :cry:

User avatar
SHOCKMASTER
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:46 pm

#5 Post by SHOCKMASTER » Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:01 am

I was searching around on Netflix today and noticed that they have a dvd of MOUCHETTE which is labeled as a `coming soon` release without a release date. Anybody know what this is about? Could it be a weird mistake? Criterion is supposed to release MOUCHETTE through RIALTO so... could this be a conformation?

Here's the link to the dvd: http://www.netflix.com/MovieDisplay?mov ... kid=189080

User avatar
ellipsis7
Posts: 2417
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:56 pm
Location: Dublin

#6 Post by ellipsis7 » Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:27 am

Rialto have it on release

:: Dec 10 – 14 NASHVILLE, TN Belcourt
:: Jan 20 – 21 LOS ANGELES, CA LA County Musem of Art
:: Feb 18 – 19 CLEVELAND, OH Cinematheque
:: Mar 3, 5 TORONTO, ON Cinematheque Ontario
:: Mar 17 – 19 MILWAUKEE, WI Union Cinema
:: Apr 15 ROCHESTER, NY George Eastman House
:: Apr 28 – May 4 SEATTLE, WA NW Film Forum

So six months on from the last date, maybe is the first it can be expected on CC DVD...

Ishmael
Posts: 317
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:56 pm

#7 Post by Ishmael » Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:36 am

leech wrote:I was searching around on Netflix today and noticed that they have a dvd of MOUCHETTE which is labeled as a `coming soon` release without a release date. Anybody know what this is about? Could it be a weird mistake?
Substitute "typical and completely meaningless" for "weird" and you have your answer. Netdix are worse than imdb when it comes to accurate information.

User avatar
SHOCKMASTER
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:46 pm

#8 Post by SHOCKMASTER » Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:48 am

Oh really? That's kind of what I of figured. But I thought it was worthly to atleast bring your guys' attention.

User avatar
SHOCKMASTER
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:46 pm

#9 Post by SHOCKMASTER » Sat Jan 28, 2006 9:14 am

Yeah now I can clearly see that Netflix is full of it because I also see an option to save a copy of BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ which is labeled as 'coming soon'. Pssssssss

User avatar
HerrSchreck
Posts: 6324
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

#10 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:20 am

julientorma wrote:A friend at Film Forum, for what it is worth, happened to mention in passing that Criterion will be releasing Mouchette "soon".
Saw a very nice print of MOUCHETTE this past fall (maybe late Summer?) at Film Forum.

Love Bresson, but not this film. Lacks the subtlety of his other films in their deft application of nuance and poetic vaguery.

Film shows that even tragedy can be uncompelling & redundant.

User avatar
daniel p
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:01 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

#11 Post by daniel p » Sat Jan 28, 2006 8:46 pm

I wish their next Bresson were A Man Escaped instead...

rwaits
Posts: 538
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2004 12:24 pm

#12 Post by rwaits » Sat Jan 28, 2006 8:52 pm

I wish their next Bresson were A Man Escaped instead...
Has Criterion have any releases that overlap with New Yorker?

User avatar
ellipsis7
Posts: 2417
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:56 pm
Location: Dublin

#13 Post by ellipsis7 » Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:28 am

MOUCHETTE is really wonderful, even better than A MAN ESCAPED in my book..

User avatar
HerrSchreck
Posts: 6324
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

#14 Post by HerrSchreck » Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:10 am

ellipsis7 wrote:MOUCHETTE is really wonderful, even better than A MAN ESCAPED in my book..
I'd genuinely be interested in hearing your comparisons between the two films, and why you find MOUCHETTE more satisfying than A MAN ESCAPED. Mind you, I'm not attacking your opinion of the film as you have every goddam right to like what you want without some goofball demanding otherwise-- plus there are others who agree with you. But could you go into a bit more detail?

User avatar
ellipsis7
Posts: 2417
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:56 pm
Location: Dublin

#15 Post by ellipsis7 » Sun Jan 29, 2006 1:13 pm

They're both good - A MAN ESCAPED creates a metaphysical dimension to a true prison escape story, bringing the drama to a different, transcendent and almost spiritual level, whereas MOUCHETTE depicts the everyday problems and pains of a young peasant girl with an intensity and stripped down methodology that manifests Bresson's avowed approach in one of its most pure and powerful forms... Slightness of gesture and the silence of characters achieve enormous significance, as whole passages evolve with barely a word... Sublime!

User avatar
SHOCKMASTER
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:46 pm

#16 Post by SHOCKMASTER » Tue Jan 31, 2006 6:03 am

Well, I know what HerrSchreck might argue. That the suffering Mouchette endures throughout the film might not be 'everyday', and with each of her endeavors, the mood of the film seems to exponentionally stray away from the more naturalistic purity that one might attribute to other films of Bresson (ie. PICKPOCKET, A MAN ESCAPED). I could be wrong you might not argue you that, I don't want to put words in yr mouth...

However, I adore MOUCHETTE. One of the most amazing experiences I've had in a theater was being able to see this on the big screen. It actually makes me fear the notion of watching it at home on DVD. I suppose it will suffice though. I mean I ate 3 packages of .20 cent ramen after viewing Itami's TOMPOPO, which sufficed, but was a poor imitation at best.

I always enjoyed what Bergman said about MOUCHETTE:
You see, now I'll tell you something about Mouchette. It starts with a friend who sees the girl sitting and crying, and Mouchette says to the camera, how shall people go on living without me, that's all. Then you see the main titles. The whole picture is about that. She's a saint and she takes everything upon herself, inside her, everything that happens around her. That makes such an enormous difference that such people live among us. I don't believe in another life, but I do think that some people are more holy than others and make life a little bit easier to endure, more bearable. And she is one, a very, very simple one, and when she has assumed the difficulties of other human beings,
SpoilerShow
."
SpoilerShow
But I do have one question about the print of MOUCHETTE which I saw. At the very end of the film after MOUCHETTE has you know in the stream and the camera holds in the water rippleing, did anybody else notice how it looked as if the scene was cut short and for longer duration purposes somebody played about 6 secs of the water rippleing in forward motion and then in backward motion over and over again to make the shot appear longer? I didn't notice it the first time in the theater, but when I want back with a friend he pointed it out. And on his bootleg DVD copy of MOUCHETTE the same effect appears at the end. I was just curious about this. Did anybody else catch this? Was this intended and I am just stupid?

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Posts: 7378
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

#17 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:00 am

Bergman's reading of the plot of Mouchette strikes me as a bit offbase.

User avatar
hellboytr
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 4:23 am
Location: Istanbul - TURKEY

#18 Post by hellboytr » Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:32 am

leech wrote: At the very end of the film after MOUCHETTE has you know in the stream and the camera holds in the water rippleing, did anybody else notice how it looked as if the scene was cut short and for longer duration purposes somebody played about 6 secs of the water rippleing in forward motion and then in backward motion over and over again to make the shot appear longer? I didn't notice it the first time in the theater, but when I want back with a friend he pointed it out. And on his bootleg DVD copy of MOUCHETTE the same effect appears at the end. I was just curious about this. Did anybody else catch this? Was this intended and I am just stupid?
Nick Wrigley of Masters Of Cinema touches on this in his Japanese Mouchette DVD(Cinefil/Imagica) review:
ne point that we would love to clear up: at the very end of the film Mouchette splashes into the river and as the ripples subside, it's clear (with the clarity of this DVD) to see that the last 10-20 seconds of this shot of the water (the final shot of the film) are on some kind of loop... at one point the footage begins playing backwards for a few seconds, then forwards again, then backwards again at the same point as before, then forwards again.. it does this on a loop until the fade to black (music is playing over all this). Is this something peculiar to this DVD? To be investigated.

Napoleon
Posts: 539
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:55 am

#19 Post by Napoleon » Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:27 am

Michael Kerpan wrote:Bergman's reading of the plot of Mouchette strikes me as a bit offbase.
Yes, this bit doesn't correlate to the film that I saw:
She's a saint and she takes everything upon herself, inside her, everything that happens around her. That makes such an enormous difference that such people live among us.
Where has he got that from? Mouchette may have a rough time of it but that in itself is not a sacrifice.
If I remember rightly she is quite an annoying character. But then I found the film as a whole to be quite annoying (it is soo manipulative), so maybe I projected this onto her.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Posts: 7378
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

#20 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:06 am

And I THOUGHT the narration at the beginning was from the mother -- who DOES have a terminal illness of some sort.

User avatar
zedz
Posts: 10353
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

#21 Post by zedz » Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:08 pm

The ripple loop at the end of the film has been in every print I've seen, and for obvious reasons. Bresson needs to convey that what appears to have happened really has happened (what a different ending if he'd cut on the splash, for example), but presumably he doesn't want to be locked up for mistreating - or worse - his collaborators. I've seen this simple trick in other films as well, though none immediately spring to mind.

(I don't think these spoiler-aware circumlocutions are fooling anybody!)

User avatar
SHOCKMASTER
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:46 pm

#22 Post by SHOCKMASTER » Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:19 am

I dunno. For some reason it does not seem intentional at all. It seems like a highschool film class technique to me. The only arguement I can think of which supports the theory that Bresson intended this at the end of the film is because he could have easily reshot the last sequence if it wasn't to his liking - if it indeed was a compensating cover-up. Also, couldn't have Bresson conveyed the same point if the shot just held on the rippleing water instead of using the effect? I mean the only 'effects' Bresson normally uses, or the only one I can think of right now, is the cross dissolve. I just cannot see Bresson using the rewinding/fast forwarding blahblah techinique.

User avatar
david hare
Posts: 6931
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller

#23 Post by david hare » Wed Feb 01, 2006 5:47 am

There are many attempted explanations for this apparent "weakness" in the mise-en-scene.

The most convincing to me (and I am not a huge fan of Mouchette) is that Bresson chooses not to show the suicide (indeed he doesn't) but instead sets up several attempts both representationally and visually. But - yeah - I'm not won over by that either. The other, although it doesn't particularly refer to Mouchette's suicide, is that Mouchette is a kind of parallel character for the donkey in Balthazar. Yes - I dont buy that one either, insofar as the donkey himself travels a particularly pure/"innocent" path through his sainthood.

Frankly for me the movie works in places, and doesnt in others. The end is certainly poignant in showing her repeated failure at life and death, but...

User avatar
SHOCKMASTER
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:46 pm

#24 Post by SHOCKMASTER » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:27 am

Well, yes MOUCHETTE is burdened by her human imperfections (her insecurities and immaturity). And Balthazar is more of a 'pure' being compared to Mouchette in that regard. But I do believe that Bergman's assessment where he argues that Mouchette is a being whom takes on the hardships of others to make life more bearable isn't far off from the truth. I would be so crass to apply that to Balthazar as well.

User avatar
Matt
Posts: 6301
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

#25 Post by Matt » Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:02 pm

Mouchette

• New, restored high-definition digital transfer
• Audio commentary by renowned film scholar, critic, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
• Au hasard Bresson, a half-hour documentary about the director, including behind-the-scenes footage of Robert Bresson directing Mouchette
• “Traveling,â€

Post Reply