Jane Sloan

Digital version of Sloan, Jane, "Chapter IV: Writings About Bresson," Robert Bresson: a guide to references and resources. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1983.

Jane Sloan is the Media Librarian at Rutgers University Libraries, and former Cinema-Television Librarian at University of Southern California Libraries. The material is reproduced by robert-bresson.com with Ms. Sloan's kind permission. See also our main Bresson bibliography.




14  Leenhardt, Roger, 'Le Cinéma: 'Affaires publiques'', Esprit 27 (December), 497-499 

The only contemporary review of this lost film that I was able to locate. Leenhardt criticizes it for having a "hesitant point of view", unnatural acting that leaves the audience too uninvolved, and dialogue that "seems to have been conceived independently of the visual effects." But he admires it, too, and compares it to Chaplin's films, which "go beyond race and class" through the use of a "universal language." Affaires publiques, though hermetic, is never affected; it "dares" to be serious and so succeeds in being provoking.




15  Audiberti, Jacques, [Review of 'Les Anges du péché'], Comoedia, 105 (3 july) 

Cited in entry 75. Excerpted in entry 557.

16  Jaquier, Claude, 'Le Cinéma', Confluences 3, no. 27 (December), 790-791 

Les Anges du péché is discussed in a roundup of recent successes. The film is admired for its documentary-like details of convent life (credited to the inside knowledge of R.P. Brückberger) and the curious interplay among these realistic details, but criticized for Giraudoux's artificial dialogue and an "insipid" plot.




17  Kedeland, 'Le Cas de Robert Bresson', Comoedia 156 

Cited in entry 645.

18  Kerdebond, J. de, [Review of 'Les Anges du péché'], Comoedia 156 (8 July) 

Cited in entry 75.



19  Guth, Paul, Autour des 'Dames du Bois de Boulogne': journal d'un film, Paris: Juillard, 197 pp. 

Journalistic account of the making of Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne. Includes an interview with Jean Cocteau, who declares that he did the film only out of friendship for Bresson, having no sympathy for Diderot or the subject matter. He wrote "next to nothing", in any case, but enjoyed the discipline of doing something against his inclinations. Also includes interviews with and lengthy descriptions of the functions of most who worked on the film (including Maria Casarès and Raoul Ploquin), as well as detailed accounts of each day's shooting and the exchanges that took place between Bresson and the actors and crew.


20  Barrot, Jean Pierre, 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', L'Ecran Français 13 (26 september), 5 

A primarily literary review that blames the failure of the film on a weak script (the origin of which is traced back to the original Diderot story) and the "unreal literary sound" of the Cocteau dialogue.

21  Becker, Jacques, 'Hommage à Robert Bresson', L'Ecran Français 16 (17 October), 3, 14 

Becker, the film director, explains that he does not usually write about films, but feels compelled to respond to a previously published negative review (see entry 20) of Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne. He counters the complaints of a poorly motivated script and characters "who come and go, look, sit, rise, go up and down stairs, take the elevator, and exchange laconic words in a strange language," by saying that this "strangeness" is one of the main components of the film's entirely "new style," which "owes nothing to any other person or any other films." Becker's heartfelt praise appears to be the first important public defense of Bresson's art.

22  Chamine, 'Le Cinéma', La NEF 2, no. 12 (November), 155-56 

Review of Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne: The female leads give good performances and the film is admirably shot, but the story is of little interest and "unfortunately" directed by Bresson, whose great care in filming has resulted in a work that "seems oily, and a little rancid."

23  La Croix, Jean-Yves, 'Le Cinéma', Esprit 13 (December), 988-989 

In a roundup of recent films, Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne is given a paragraph of summary and found to be "a little boring".

24  Marion, Denis, 'Les Spectacles: 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', Combat (26 September), 2 

Review that describes the film as cold and too abstract, but admires the stylistic unity that Bresson has imposed. Marion uses it as an example of the French cinema's continuing "nourishment of high ambitions and confidence in the intelligence of the public".

25  Néry, Jean, 'Les Spectacles: Le cinéma: 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', Le Monde (30 September - 1 October), 3 

Negative review: "A head without a heart, a spirit without a soul". The "dramatic spring" of the plot is "completely false" (along with the costumes and acting), and provokes laughter instead of the more appropriate tears.

26  Sadoul, Georges, 'Le Cinéma: 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', Lettres Françaises (29 September), 5 

Review that blames the failure of the film on Bresson's distance: Such perfection in isolation is an acceptable tone for Les Anges du péché, but not suitable for this tale of love and vengeance.

27  Sadoul, Georges, 'Article on 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', Poésie 45, no. 28 

Cited in entry 68.




28  Charensol, Georges, 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', In: Renaissance du Ciné Français, Paris: Éditions du Sagittaire, 76-80 

After placing Bresson in "the first rank", Charensol considers that Bresson's strongest point is his directing of actors. But the doorways, stairwells and elevators are too distracting a "game" and detract from the seriousness of the effort.

29  Oueval, Jean, 'Deux jeunes maîtres du cinéma français: Robert Bresson et George Rouquier', Formes et Couleurs 8, no. 6, 4 

General account of the filmic styles of these two "examples of the new era of auteurs" who strive to counter the cinema's prejudice against simplicity".

30  Oueval, Jean, 'Dialogue avec Robert Bresson', L'Écran Français 72 (12 November), 12 

An often quoted interview and the first known public expression by Bresson of his aesthetic: "It's the interior that commands. I know that must seem paradoxical in an art that is all exterior... . Only the knots that tie and unwind within a character can give the film movement". Also includes statements on color, sound, artistic collaboration, and other films.

31  Pouillon, Jean M., 'À propos des 'Dames du Bois de Boulogne', Temps Modernes 4 (January), 756-760 

The film itself is not considered here so much as what Pouillon calls a "misunderstanding" between the director and the audience, which snickered throughout the screening. Pouillon suggests that the psychology of the film is real enough to make people feel uncomfortable while watching it, but thinks that the transposed eighteenth-century setting and the unexplained "idleness" of the characters allow the audience the ease of a good laugh, and so produce the wrong reaction.




32  [Anon.], 'Robert Bresson', Revue Vergers no. 1 (2nd quarter) [Published in the French occupation zone at Baden-Baden] 

Cited in entry 714.




33  Régent, Roger, 'L'Un des plus grands films de ces quatre années: 'Les Anges du péché'' In: Cinéma de France, Paris: Éditions Bellefaye, 162-169 

Extensive account of the film's background, the circumstances of the initial contract and early production, the actresses' previous work, Giraudoux's crusade to give the cinema "a new language", and a description of the film's ad campaign in Marseilles. The criticism is general, centering on the notion that "madness, and not religion, constitutes the theme of the film".

34  Régent, Roger, 'Le Style de Robert Bresson', In: Cinéma de France, Paris: Éditions Bellefaye, 275-278 

Contends that Bresson has perfected an intelligent, dense style resembling that of no other director in France. But in Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne he has "polished an elegant finish to a coldness that is hostile to the spectator".




35*  Brune Klaus, [Review of Les Anges du péché], Film-Dienst der Jugend, no. 244 (10 March) 

Cited in entry 687.

36  Campassi, Oswaldo, 10 anni di cinema francese. Vol. 2., Milano: Poligoni Società Editrice, 136-138 

A rare desription of Affaires publiques, which I will quote at lenght. After placing the film hostorically in the avant-garde and surrealist school, Campassi continues: "With this film, Bresson enters decisively into an absurd and foolish world ... that even so retains links which are always identifiable with reality.
  "In this fantasy, the director investigates with a clear grip and intentions of satire the crazy events of the dictator of the legendary country of Crogandia. The tone of the satire, however, is cold and extreme within itself. Bresson is an auteur who has his own conceptions, which are very precise, and must be adhered to. Here is his statement: 'I would not begin a film without having imagined its scenario .... In my imagination, I have composed the scenario, directed the actors, in short, I have assumed all of my responsibilities. In my opinion, the errors of directing always depend on lack of precision. But in my own case, before undertaking my film, I have already known it by heart.'
  "So in Crogandia, the most absurd events are seen calmly and placidly, and the most extravagant inventions are followed as if they have happened and were completely normal events. The fire brigade dances a minuette and tries to set fire to a house so that they they may then give proof of their bravery; but the house, terrified, flees. Decorated by the dictator of Crogandia, the head of the fire brigade is forced to cut his full beard in order to see the decorations which he has received. The princess Miremi falls from an airplane, but suffers no injury. The statue of the dictator is dedicated by the dictator himself and a corps de balletdances in honor of the occasion; then, during the address, everyone falls into a deep sleep, and the yawning statue of the dictator warns the dictator that it is time to stop.
  "As a French critic has noted, the characteristic of Affaires publiques is 'the reversal of objects.' Objects are not accepting of the quiet and light follies of men; Instead they are animated and react. This is evidenced by the dictator who would like to 'dedicate himself' at any cost, and by an ocean liner, which rather than being launched with sparkling wine, prefers to sink.
  "All of the contents of this frenetic caprice unfold in a rarified and magical climate .... The images are characterized by infinite meanings of which one could give a hundred interpretations. Affaires publiquesreaffirms the fundamental characteristic of the avant-garde school: its rule is to never have any rules. But we must recognize in Bresson an acute and unrestrained intelligence, a grotesque sense of subtle characters, and an extreme agility in this unreal and completely invented world.
  Another statement from the director: 'I almost never have worked in the prose theater. I have pleased myself to search scenographically in the open. I have found this easy, since I have not needed more than a wall, a tree, a sky. I did not attempt an artistic film, and the poetry must only be born from a certain continuity of my intentions. This is why I choose Beby for the role of the dictator of Crogandia; he arrived at his characterization for me by himself, and I could not perceive of the film without him. Should I perhaps have made him and the other actors 'recite'? Given that I attribute importance to action, it seemed simple to make them 'act,'"




37  Agel, Henri, 'Robert Bresson ou l'enfer du style', Téléciné 25, 6 pp. 

Discusses Les Anges du péché and Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne as tragedy in the style of Racine, a style outside of time or any presentation of the concrete. But Journal d'un curé de campagne, while "inspiring" in itself, is a "muted tragedy" that goes too far in its denial of the vividness of Bernanos's novel. By being too literal and severe, Bresson has failed to recreate Bernanos's deep and Christian sense of "human pity." (See also entry 42.)

38  [Anon.], 'Conversation avec Robert Bresson', Opéra (14 february), 7 

Short interview: Bresson speaks very generally about Journal d'un curé de campagne and his project on the life of Ignatius Loyola. "As for my film, don't look to it to explain anything, find in it simply the soul of a child, to see and to hear."

39*  [Anon.], 'Débat sur 'Le Journal d'un curé de campagne'', Récherches et Débats, Supplement Lettres et Arts, 15 (March) 

Cited in entry 557. Interview with Bresson.

40*  [Anon.], [Interview with Bresson], Cinéma (1 October) 

Cited in entry 71.

*41  [Anon.], [Review of 'Journal d'un curé de campagne'], Radio-Cinéma (11 February) 

Cited in entry 75.

42  Arbois, Janick, 'Journal d'un curé de campagne', Téléciné 25, 11 pp. [Fiche filmographique, no. 158] 

A long, detailed analysis of the film, including a list of the scenes edited from the original three-hour version, why Bresson chose them, and a section on the insufficiencies and difficulties (due to the ellipses in the plot) of it in relation to the novel. Arbois argues to disprove Agel's contention (see entry 37) that the film's problem is a too literal underlining of the book (because of the overlapping of the narration and the images), but eventually agrees with his conclusion that the film is "spiritually impoverished" in comparison with it. This, he claims, is due to Bresson's passion for unity and stylistic rigor at the expense of the social and pastoral aspects of the subject and an accompanying reliance on key phrases ("all is grace") to communicate what he has been unable to demonstrate.

43  Bazin, André, 'Cinéma et théologie', Esprit (February), 237-248 

Les Anges du péché is discussed briefly as an example of the use of exemplary spiritual lives to illustrate the moral, intellectual, and social aspects of Catholicism.

44  Bazin, André, ''Le Journal d'un curé de campagne' et la stylistique de Robert Bresson', Cahiers du cinéma 3 (June), 7-22  

Reprinted: entry 166. Translated into English: entries 368, 433, 689; into German: entry 701. See entry 368 for annotation.

45  Béguin, Albert, 'Bernanos au cinéma', Esprit (February), 248-52 

Béguin, a Bernanos critic, writes of Journal d'un curé de campagne as an "audaciously severe film," and discusses the extreme differences in style between it and the novel. These differences, he maintains, do not detract from either.

46  Béguin, Albert, 'L'Adaptation du 'Journal d'un curé de campagne'', Glanes 18 (May-June), 24-28. 

Essay similar to entry 45, though with a different emphasis on the development of the script. Includes specifics on the original Aurenche-Bost script and its failings.

47  Brasport, Michel, 'Journal d'un curé de campagne', La Table Ronde 39 (March), l70-73. 

Generally favorable review, though critical of the repeating of information in both the sound and the image and of the flat "documentary tone."

48  Charensol, George, 'Le Cinéma: 'Journal d'un curé de campagne'', Les Nouvelles Littéraires 1223 (8 February), 8. 

Characterizes the film and the novel as "two parallel works which never coincide" because of totally opposing treatments -- one classical, the other romantic.

49  Douchet, Jean, 'Bresson on Location', Sequence 13 (January), 6-8. 

Short interview and longer description of Bresson's working methods on the set of Journal d' un curé de campagne. Describes the attitude of the crew toward Bresson as one of "ironic hostility.'

50  Duca, Lo, 'Une Acte de foi', Cahiers du Cinéma 1 (April), 45-47. 

Positive review of Journal d'un curé de campagne: A "triumph" of poetic cinema with only one antecedent -- the work of Dreyer.

51  Ducrot, Oswald, 'Le Cinéma sauve son âme', Raccords 8. 

Cited in entry 557.

52  Fayard, Jean, 'La Chronique du cinéma: 'Le Jounal d'un curé de campagne'', Opéra (14 February), 7. 

Fayard tells of viewing the film as a juror for the Prix Delluc. The jurors were stunned by the sincerity of the film and voted on the first ballot, 10-4, to give it the prize.

53  Gautier, Julien, 'Journal d'un curé de campagne', Le Figaro (8 February), 6. 

Admires the "attempt at depth" in the film. but is critical of the acting and the final image of the black cross.

54  Green, Julien, [Review of Journal d'un curé de campagne], Opéra (14 February). 

Cited in entry 557. Green is a well-known novelist who later worked on a project with Bresson (see entry 98).

55  Hilleret, Jan, [Review of 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne'], Réflets du Cinéma (October). 

Cited in entry 130.

56  Kyrou, Ado, 'Le Cinéma n'a pas besoin de Dieu', L'Age du Cinéma 1 (March). 

Cited and partially reprinted in entry 312.

57  Lambert, Gavin, 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', Séquence 13 (January), 41-43. 

Positive review of this "avant-garde" film with one reservation: The flawless and complex poetry is marred by the final scene, which Paul Bernard "plays without passion . . [and which] suggests that Bresson begrudges what is in effect a happy ending and is doing all he a can to subvert its nature."

58  L'Herbier, Marcel, 'La Revolution du février', Combat (21, 24 March) 

Cited in entry 557.

59  Magnan, Henry, ''Le Journal d'un curé de campagne' marquera une date dans l'histoire du cinéma', Le Monde (8 February), 8. 

Positive review: A "detailed and sincere study of human experience."

60  Marroncle, Gérard, 'Les Anges du péché', Téléciné 25, 8 pp. [Fiche filmographique, no. 160.] 

A study that sees the film as having two strains: the interior drama and love, which opposes Thérèse and Anne-Marie, and the documentary of convent life itself. Also briefly analyzed are the script (as compared to Julien Duvivier's La Charrette Fantôme), each character, the sets, dialogue, and Bresson's economical visual style.

61  Mauriac, Claude, 'Le Premier Film de la vie intérieure: 'Journal d'un curé de campagne'', Le Figaro Littéraire 251 (10 February) 

A comparison of the film and the novel: Mauriac finds the adaptation deceptively simple, a line-by-line transformation, and declares it so good that Bresson could even be the adapter of Proust.

62  Mauriac, François, 'Journal d'un curé de campagne', Le Figaro (27 February), 1. 

A front-page, poetic account of the "lesson in love" that the film brought to Mauriac. He claims the revelatory powers of the film come from Bresson's method of directing actors, which allows Claude Laydu to "become all else while remaining himself."

63  Pouillon, Jean, ''Le Journal d'un curé de campagne', film de Robert Bresson', Les Temps Modernes 66 (April), 1914-15. 

A negative review of the film, which is simply seen as the "novel illustrated."

64  Roy, Jean-Henri, 'Bernanos et le cinéma', Les Temps Modernes 65 (March), l7l9-23. 

Discussion of both novel and film version of Journal d'un curé de campagne that focuses on the moral aspects of the story. Includes varying judgments on the character of the curé as saintly or neurotic.

65  Sadoul, Georges, 'Robert Bresson, jansénist: 'Journal d'un curé de campagne'', Les Lettres Françaises (22 February), 6. 

Review that sees the film as proof of Bresson's Jansenist stance -- in the care and rigor with which it is made and in Bresson's "passionate search . . . for abstract man."

66  Sengissen, Paul, 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', Téléciné 25, 3 pp. [Fiche filmographique, no. 159.] 

A brief fiche including the standard synopsis, character interpretations, dramatic analysis, and interpretation.

67  Yvoire, Jean d', 'Porte spirituelle du Journal d'un curé de campagne', Téléciné 25, 12-14 

Discussion of the religious and moral aspets of the characters in both the film and the novel.




68  Chardère, Bernard, 'A propos de Bresson . . . les rouages de la réalité', Positif 4, 43-48. 

Second in a series of articles on Bresson (see entries 69-71). Chardère returns to the arguments of the introduction and discusses the critics' confusion over the ambiguities created by the clash of realism and artifice in Bresson's first three films.

69  Chardère, Bernard, 'A propos de Bresson: un art du suggestion: des visages à 1'àme', Positif, 3, 1-56. 

The first part (see entries 68, 70-71) of wide-ranging series of essays on "classic cinema," defined as an ideal cinema of revelation. Chardère focuses on the notion that by minimizing the means employed, a filmmaker (through montage) can maximize the emotional response obtained. This response is generally a response to the revelation of character and rests significantly for Chardère on the use of close-ups of the character's face.

70  Chardère, Bernard, 'A propos de Bresson (Renoir, et quelque autres), ou les chemins du classicisme au cinéma; aux cent actes divers', Positif 5, 20-26. 

In the last of a series of three articles (see entries 68, 69, 71), Chardère discusses classicism as a realist construction mediated by a particular kind of spectator participation. In Bresson's art, where everyhing is carefully controlled in advance, the spectator is made aware of his or her responsibility to recreate and discern the complexities of the series of images on the scrceen. Each image is clear in itself, but as a group they are confusing, and the contradictions that are engendered show the diverse aspects of a thing or a character: "Ambiguity in the cinema is a sign of value that does not lie." Chardère then discusses, and dismisses as having nothing to do with Bresson, Bazin's accusations against highly edited film (montage) as denying the spectator's freedom. He also dismisses the late nineteenth-century theories of the naturalists as being entirely different from the "complacency" expressed by Bresson, who describes things with pleasure, for themselves, not for purposes of social instruction. Chardère concludes by comparing Renoir's "psychological lyricism" to Bresson's classicism and declares that Flaherty opened the way for both.

71  Chardère, Bernard, 'Notes préliminaires', Positif 2, 28-31. 

In the introduction to a series of articles (see entries 68-70), tragedy is defined as resting on ambiguities: distance coexisting with identification in the spectator, and serious themes played out as formal games.

72  Rops, Daniel, 'Blick in die Seele', Film Forum 5 (February), 3. 

Positive review of Journal d'un curé de campagne, which Rops identifies as part of the avant-garde. It is Bresson's "masterpiece," following the disappointing Les Dames du Bois du Boulogne.

73  Tallenjay, Jean Louis, 'Un Cinéma enfin parlant', Cahiers du Cinéma 9 (February),30-36. 

With the appearance of Journal d'un curé de campagne and Renoir's The River, Tallenjay sees the emergence of a new cinema that employs sound in other than the traditional, utilitarian way, which merely underlines and explains the action of the story.




74  Agel, Henri, 'L'Homme écartelé', In: Prétre à l'écran, Paris: Editions Tèqui, 59-70. 

Journal d'un curé de campagne is discussed in terms of its presentation of the priest. It is judged superior to the usual screen interpretation, but lacking because of the morbid tone. The priest may be an "existentialist," but unfortunately not a Christian one.

75  Ayfre, Amedée, 'Le Primat de la mise en scène', In: Dieu au cinéma: problèmes esthétiques du film religieux, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 142-59. 

In a religious discussion of the first three films, Ayfre claims ultimate psychological depth for Bresson's presentation of Christian themes and characters: "The dissection is so fine and the recomposition so rigorous that it nearly -- but here there is still an abyss -- recreates the initial totality of the event." Always the event remains elusive; God's presence is missed, and we feel only His absence which is the "sign of and the reason for human solitude." It is this solitude, and not an idea of idyllic union, that is Bresson's true subject; it is the gap between despair and hope ("at once infinite and imperceptible") that he describes, but has been unable or unwilling to cross.

76  Doniol-Valcroze, Jacques, 'De l'avant-garde', In: Sept ans de cinéma français. By Henri Agel et al., Paris: Editions du Cerf, 14-16. 

In a general discussion of the French avant-garde, Doniol-Valcroze discusses Bresson's first thrce films, emphasizing their reliance on paradox. He describes Bresson as an original without equivalent and compares his success to that of Chaplin.

77  Ford, Charles, Le Cinéma au service de la foi, Paris: Libraire Plon, 139-43 

Routine discussion of Les Anges du péché and Journal d'un curé de campagne.

78  Lambert, Gavin, 'Notes on Robert Bresson', Sight and Sound 23, no. 1 (July-September), 35-39. 

Overview of Bresson's first three films, which express the same 'physical and spiritual masochism to be found in so much modern Catholic art." The ideas in a previous review of Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne (see entry 57) are presented again; Les Anges du péché is a film of finely articulated character portraits played out in settings that are "oriental in precision and remoteness"; and Journal d'un curé de campagne is "more complex and more poetic" than the Bernanos novel. "The method goes beyond the analytical and the camera is admitted to the confines of the soul." Also includes biographical and production information.

*79  Walterman, Leo and Schütz, Walter J., 'Filmanalyse: Tagebuch eines Landpfarrers', In: Kino, Kunst und Kolportage, Edited by Leo Waltermann, Säckingen: Hermann Stratz, 153-66. 

Cited in entry 687.




80  Agel, Henri, 'L'Ascèse liturgique', In: Le Cinéma et le sacre, Paris: Editions du Cerf, 29-42 

In a discussion of Bresson's first three films, Agel compares him to Racine by discussing their classical style: the careful composition, the sparseness of the images, and the lack of concessions to dramatic continuity.

81  Alpert, Hollis, 'SR Goes to the Movies: Classics from France and England', Saturday Review (27 March), 25. 

Positive review of Journal d'un curé de campagne: "Movie making on the highest level."

82  Amengual, Bathelmy, 'Bresson et Dreyer', Image et Son 69 (February), 18 

Describes Dreyer's Day of Wrath and Bresson's Les Anges du péché and Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne as marble sculpture: cold, hard, and perfect. But Dreyer's La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc and Journal d'un curé de campagne are bodies full of life, as in classical paintings. This result is achieved in two very different ways: Dreyer puts reality in parentheses with his stylized décor and close-ups, while Bresson goes deeper into physical reality with the painstaking detail of his shots.

83  [Anon.], 'The New Pictures: Diary of a Country Priest', Time (10 May), 108 

"The main trouble of the picture is its failure to transmute the superb language of the book into equivalent images"

84  Crowther, Bosley, 'On Editing Imports: French Film Man Vexed at a Usual Practice', New York Times (2 May): Sect. 2, p. 1. 

Crowther prints here the letter that Bresson had sent him on discovering that half an hour had been cut by the New York distributor from Journal d'un curé de carnpagne. Bresson defends every detail as indispensable and suggests that the omission explains why Crowther did not understand the film (see entry 85). Crowther makes fun of foreigners who always think their work is butchered by "crassly commercial Americans" and dismisses Bresson's attitude as "obvious pretension."

85  Crowther, Bosley, 'Diary of a Country Priest', NewYork Times (6 April), 35. 

Though "the cinema technique is brilliant," Crowther "could not catch the pattern of the poor young priest's misery nor penetrate the veil of mysticism that enshrouds the whole film."

86  Doniol-Valcroze, Jacques, 'Entretien avec Luis Buñuel', Cahiers du Cinéma 36 (June), 12-13 

Comment by Buñuel on the sado-masochistic elements of Les Anges du péché , which he thinks indicate other than struggle or violence, and which he finds attractive, but strange.

87  Hartung, Philip T., 'The Screen: Grace Is Everywhere', Commonweal (23 April), 69-70. 

Positive review of Journal d'un curé de carnpagne: "An ennobling experience" that is "frequently quite exciting."

88  La Croix, Jean, 'La Philosophie: vie intérieur et vie spirituelle', Le Monde (15 May), 9. 

After a lengthy introduction on the notion of solitude in the history of philosophy, La Croix has high praise for the treatment of it in Journal d'un curé de carnpagne. By eliminating the psychological and social elements of the novel, Bresson has succeeded in making a film "not of introspection, but of reflection."

89  Laurent, Frédéric, 'Maria Casarès ou de l'élégance de l'âme', Image et Son 72 (May), l-6. 

Comments on each of Casarès's films, including Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne which is deemed the height of her achievement on the screen. Casarès herself claims that Bresson originally wanted her to play in Les Anges du péché and complains that he "gently killed" the entire cast and crew of Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne.

90  McCarten, John, 'The Current Cinema: Up From Misery', New Yorker 30 (17 April), 113. 

Review of Journal d'un curé de carnpagne. Bresson "is not too successful in explaining . . . [the priest's] motivations, however, the camera work is amazingly perceptive" and "used to great effect in scrutinizing the characters."

91  Marion, Denis, 'Petit Journal intime de cinéma', Cahiers du Cinéma 36 (June), 45. 

Short notice of the opposing contemporary reviews of Journal d'un curé de campagne.

92  Sadoul, Georges, 'Robert Bresson', In: Histoire générale du cinema. Vol. 6., Paris: Editions Denbel, 50-51. 

Sadoul is surprised at Bresson's attempt to find a new classicism in the midst of the war, but asserts that the high quality of Les Anges du péché is nonetheless a great contribution to French cinema. He quotes Giraudoux on the theme of the film: "Under the uniforms of the nuns and their monastic rules, the same social classes and conflicts exist." Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé is similarly described as testimony of the Nazi atrocities, the occupation, and the heroism of the French resistance.

93  Truffaut, François, 'Une Certain Tendance du cinéma français', Cahiers du Cinéma 31 (January), 15-28. 

Translated: entries 360, 641. See entry 360 for annotation.

94  Truffaut, François, 'Il y a dix ans de Robert Bresson', Arts (22 September) , 3. 

Article on the successful revival of Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne. Truffaut describes it as an exercise in style, comments particularly on Cocteau's contribution, and feels that the film is not as fully developed as Bresson's later work. Reprinted: entry 626. Translated into English: entry 700.

95  Walsh, Moira, 'Films', America 91, no. 3 (17 April), 80. 

Positive review of Journal d'un curé de campagne. "A perfectly extraordinary screen exposition of that apparently most uncinematic of qualities: sanctity."




96  [Anon.], 'Les Infortunes de la 1iberté: le 'Journal d'un curé de campagne' à l'américain', Positif 13 (March-April), 82. 

Series of case histories on the mutilation of films, including the American print of Journal d'un curé de campagne, which played in New York to critics who described the film as incoherent. Relates Bosley Crowther's flippant reply to Bresson's indignant letter (see entry 84) and Thomas Brandon's and Lillian Gerard's contention (representing the distributor) that foreign films must be tailored for American audiences, who won't accept them unless they've been reedited.

*97  Borde, Raymond, 'Lettre ouverte à Robert Bresson', Revue de Belles Lettres de Genève, Numéro spécial cinéma (February). 

Cited and reprinted in entry 312.

98  Green, Julien, 'En travaillant avec Robert Bresson', Cahiers du Cinéma 50 (August-September), 18-23. 

Green, a novelist and translator, claims that during the summer of 1947 he worked for Bresson on a script for an eventually abandoned project on the life of Ignace de Loyola; this article is comprised of excerpts from his diary during that period. Also included are three sketches by Pierre Charbonnier of the proposed sets and costumes.




99  Anderson, Lindsay, 'Review of 'Dieu et cinéma'', Sight and Sound 23, no. 3 (January-March), 163. 

Short article admiring Ayfre's aesthetic approach to religion and cinema and the use of Bresson's work to illustrate it.

*100  [Anon.], 'Review of 'Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé'', Cinéma 14, 110. 

Cited in Cinéma Index, 1954-1971.

101  Arbois, Janick, 'La Présence de la mort', Radio-Cinéma-Télévision 358 (25 November), 39-40. 

Review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé that sees the film as a meditation on death.

102  Arlaud, R. M., 'Un Homme libre', Combat (14 November), 2. 

Short review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé. Emphasizes Bresson's uncompromising quest for truth through his refusal to accept simply the "lifelike" situations that are so easily supplied in film by the realism of the photographic image and the use of traditional narrative conventions.

103  Baroncelli, Jean de, 'Le Cinéma: 'Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé' ou 'Le Vent souffle ou ii vent" Le Monde (15 November), 12. 

Review: "Less a filmed story of escape than a poem to the glory of man."

104  Bazin, André, 'Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé', France Observateur 340 (15 November), 22-23. 

Bazin first outlines Bresson's technique: avoidance of dramatic effects and psychological connections, and indifference to the usual rendering of space and time. In particular, he points to the last scene as the height of this scorn for time and place, claiming that "it is impossible to accurately reconstruct." But the heart of Bazin's idea of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé is based on what he describes as the accumulation in the film of unjustifiable, arbitrary details. He refers to the filmmaker's process of choice as Bresson's "groping," and suggests that the film itself is a metaphor for Bresson's idea of escape as a combination of chance and reasonable calculation.

*105  Leterrier, François, 'En prison avec Robert Bresson', L'Express (21 September) 

Cited in entry 557.

106  Leterrier, François, 'Philosophe de métier, vedette de fortune', La N.E.F., n.s., no. 1 (December), 47-49. 

Leterrier, a philosophy student who played Fontaine in Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé, relates some of his ex periences working with the authoritarian Bresson. He at tempts to explain Bressom's methods by suggesting that, after all, only Bresson has the finished film in mind. Leterrier learned more about directing than acting during the shooting and found Bresson's example contagious. It made him "want to find some victims and make them [his own] . . . for 90 minutes on the screen."

107  Leterrier, François, 'Robert Bresson l'insaissable', Cahiers du Cinéma 66 (December), 34-36. 

Leterrier repeats some of his experiences (see entry 106) and speaks of Bresson's motives as still a "mystery" to him. He also comments on Bresson's fascination with magic and his use of it in the film.

108  Ludmann, René, 'Grace et déréliction: 'Journal d'un curé de campagne'', In: Cinéma foi et morale, Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 130-36. 

A generally positive and pointedly religious analysis of the film's characters. Ludmann argues that though the spiritual element is not compromised by melodrama or grandiloquence, the film is excessively stylized and therefore lacking in warmth and tenderness.

109  Mauriac, Claude, 'Le Nouveau Bresson', Le Figaro Littéraire 552 (17 November), 14. 

Positive review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé comparing the original story by Devigny with the film.

110  Monod, Roland, 'En travaillant avec Robert Bresson', Cahiers du Cinéma 64 (November), 16-20. 

Drama critic and journalist Monod, who played the part of the reverend in Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé, here writes of working with Bresson on that film. The account is primarily of Bresson's way of dealing with people on the set: his constant use of paradox ("which makes him appear at once engaging and remote") and simple, but oft-repeated instruction. "Out of this account [of the escape] . . . Bresson has made a tribute to the human quality which he admires most and knows best because he has it himself: stubbornness." Partially translated into English: entry 142.

111  Rohmer, Eric, 'Les Miracles des objets' Cahiers du Cinéma 65 (December), 42-45. 

High praise for Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé: "The cinema has opened up in ways that Bresson alone showed were possible. He is a precursor, whose work rivals all else and who has given us the aptitude to appreciate all else."

112  Roy, Jules, 'J'ai vu Robert Bresson tourner au fort Montluc', Le Figaro Littéraire 534 (14 July), 7. 

Full-page account of Bresson's directing of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé. Includes many anecdotes.

113  Tallenjay, Jean-Louis, 'La Force d'âme', Radio-Cinéma-Télévision 358 (25 November), 4-5, 39. 

Positive review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé: A "revolutionary" film.

*114  Trémois, Claude-Marie, 'Enfin, le nouveau film de Robert Bresson', Radio-Cinéma-Télévision 334 (10 June). 

Cited in entry 121.

115  Trémois, Claude-Marie, 'Un Heros qui n'est ni de chair ni de sang', Radio-Cinéma-Télévision 358 (25 November), 40. 

Review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé. Trémois admires the film, but feels that Fontaine, to the detriment of it, remains an abstraction. He argues that Bresson works in the hope that the person he has chosen as the main character will eventually, miraculously, be revealed. In this case, however, his painstaking study reveals only a void.

116  Truffaut, François, 'Bresson tourne 'Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé'', Arts 574 (25 June), 5. 

In a long introduction to an interview with Bresson that took place at Montluc, Truffaut discusses the director's personality, his theories (which he claims are unlikely to spawn a school since they are so particular) and his working habits. The interview itself was drastically cut because Truffaut had read most of it "word for word" in an interview published elsewhere.

117  Truffaut, François, 'Le Plus Beau Film de Bresson', Arts 593 (14-20 November), 3. 

A rhapsodic review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé, which is described as the most decisive film of the last ten years; others are "infantile" by comparison. Truffaut revokes his previous statement that Bresson's films are too rigid and ascetic to encourage imitators (see entry 116) and claims that this film will have great influence. Reprinted: entry 626. Translated into English: entry 700.

118  Truffaut, François, 'La Photo du mois', Cahiers du Cinéma 60 (June), 33. 

Photograph and notice of work begun on Bresson's new film Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé.

119  Yvoire, Jean d', 'Est-ce bien un resurrection?', Radio-Cinéma-Télévision 358 (25 November), 40. 

In a review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé, Yvoire is critical of the film's narrow "Nietzchean" viewpoint. It is a film without a context, and Bresson and his characters exist in a "spiritual prison."



120  Briot, René, Robert Bresson, Paris: Editions du Cerf, 117 pp. 

A chapter on each of the films through Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé, an appendix with a list of sequences from each, and two chapters on Bresson's new conception of adaptation. Briot stresses Bresson's method of composing and ordering the images in a totally intellectual way, and effectively illustrates several of his technical and aesthetic inventions, such as the use of sound to spatially expand a scene. With a persistent high-art approach, he portrays Bresson as an artist who dominates his characters and disciplines himself, but "submits totally to the laws of composition and taste." Translated into Spanish: entry 158.


121  Agel, Henri, 'Présentation de Robert Bresson', Études (May), 263-69. 

From Agel's usual strong Christian viewpoint, a study of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé as an illustration of Bresson's aesthetic of the implicit. Also delineates the musical structure of the film.

122  Agel, Henri, Robert Bresson, Brussels: Club du Livre de Cinéma, 14 pp. 

A study of Bresson's work through Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé from a primarily religious, but also formal point of view. Agel describes Bresson's work as "audiovisual algebra" and a "quest" to make concrete the mystery of faith. The criticism is best when illuminating the religious symbolism and biblical references.

123  Agel, Henri, 'Robert Bresson ou la transparence', Pensée Française 2 (January), 63-64. 

General wrap-up of Bresson's work on the occasion of the opening of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé: It is the "most formal and accomplished work of the French cinema," and Bresson is "the most mysterious" of French directors.

124  Alpert , Hollis, 'SR Goes to the Movies: French Without Sex', Saturday Review (24 August), 25. 

Positive review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé: "The fact that the story is true is incidental; it would have been true regardless."

*125  [Anon.], 'Le Cinéma dans l'ornière', L'Express 310 (19 May). 

Cited in entry 243.

*126  [Anon.], [Interview with Bresson], Unifrance 45 (December), 3. 

Cited in Mel Schuster, Motion Picture Directors: A Bibliography (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1973), p. 57.

*127  [Anon.], [Review of 'Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé'], Écran de France 167 (January). 

Cited in entry 120.

128  Arbois, Janick, 'Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé', Téléciné 64 (March), 10 pp. [Fiche filmographique, no. 295.] 

In an elaboration of a previous article (see entry 101), Arbois argues that Fontaine's emotional make-up is so hidden and his character so inaccessible that he is "death personified." By so creating Fontaine, Bresson has taken his audience to the heart of the mystery of death--and life.

129  Ayfre, Amedée, 'L'Universe de Robert Bresson', Téléciné 70-71 (November-December), 1-8. 

Reprinted: entry 286. Translated into Italian: entry 219; into English: entry 429. See entry 429 for annotation.

130  Bazin, André, 'Cannes 1957', Cahiers du Cinéma 72 (June), 27-28. 

Notice of the appearance of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé at the Cannes Festival. Bazin points to the elliptical murder of the sentinel as a weak point in the film.

131  Butcher, Naryvonne, 'Film Festival at Cannes', America 97, no. 11 (15 June), 325. 

Review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé. "It inspires no hatred, evokes no ideology."

132  Butler, Rupert, 'A Man Escaped', Films and Filming 3, no. 10 (July), 23-24. 

"Bresson ruthlessly excludes all irrelevancies" to make an "outstanding film on the theme of liberation."

*133  Damas d'Aydie, G., 'Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé', Revue International du Cinéma 28. [Fiche culturelle vox no. 5.] 

Cited in entry 299.

134  Godard, Jean-Luc, '60 metteurs en scène français', Cahiers du Cinéma 71 (May), 50. 

Godard includes Bresson in an article on current French directors: "He is to French cinema as Dostoevsky is to the Russian novel and Mozart to German music."

135  Green, Harris, 'Movies: A Prisoner's Tale', Reporter 17, no. 9 (28 November), 41. 

Review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé: "Scrupulously objective," though the manner is so objective that "one wonders if a director is functioning at all."

136  Hartung, Philip T., 'The Screen: Crusoe in Chaius', Commonweal (6 September), 569. 

Positive review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé, characterizing it as a thriller.

137  Hatch, Robert, 'Films', Nation (12 0ctober), 25. 

Positive review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé: A "poetic tour de force."

138  Kyrou, Ado, 'Le Cinéma condamné à mort', Positif 20 (January), 40-41. 

A diatribe on Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé. Kyro first states that Bresson makes so few films because he has only contempt for the cinema. Condamné is a "beautiful subject" that Bresson has destroyed by eliminating all elements that might suggest passion; there are no characters, ideas, truth, time, or space in the film. However, Bresson might have a "brilliant career as a director in radio."

139  Lambert, Gavin, 'Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé', Sight and Sound 27, no. 1 (Summer), 32-33, 53. 

Lambert considers the film as having two levels: the slow, painstaking, physical effort of the escape, and the inner dedication that provides tension and "impregnates the action with faith." Reprinted: entry 696.

140  Leprophon, Pierre, 'Robert Bresson', In: Présences contemporaines du cinéma, Paris: Nouvelles Éditions Debresse, 358-72. 

Thorough, conventional treatment of Bresson's career through Journal d'un curé de campagne and the critical attitudes toward it. Also includes many production details.

141  Mauriac, Claude, 'Robert Bresson', In: Petite Littérature du cinéma, Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 65-73. 

Review of Bresson's career through Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé. Mauriac describes the films as created by one man "remembering . . . with the intervention of an artist materializing for us the impalpable."

142  Monod, Roland, 'Working with Robert Bresson', Sight and Sound 27, no. 1 (Summer), 30-32. 

Slightly abridged and translated version of entry 110.

143  'Propos de Robert Bresson', Cahiers du Cinéma 75 (October), 3-9. 

Transcript of a group interview at Cannes in 1957 with questions from André Bazin, Georges Sadoul, François Truffaut, Jean-Louis Tallenjay, and others. Replies from Bresson on the documentary aspect of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé, on the characters in that film, on nonprofessional actors, and Dryers La Passion de Jeanne d 'Arc.

144  Ranchal, Marcel, 'Une Leçon de morale', Positif 20 (January), 39-41. 

Positive review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé focusing on the morality and courage of Fontaine's actions.

145  Reed, Muriel, 'Robert Bresson, le jansénist du cinéma', Réalities 143 (December), 80-87. 

General article covering Bresson's films as well as his relationships with the people who work for him. Translated into English: entry 156.

146  Rotha, Paul, 'Bresson's True Story', Living Cinema 1, no. 3, 132-33. 

Favorable review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé, though Rotha is critical of the use of the narrative voiceover, a "literary, unfilmic device."

147  Sarris, Andrew, 'A Man Escaped', Film Culture 3, no. 4 (November), 6, 16. 

Sarris describes the film well and admires Bresson's style, but finds it limiting and too intellectual.

148  Sémolué, Jean, 'Les Personnages de Robert Bresson', Cahiers du Cinéma 75 (October), 10-15. 

Analysis of the first four films, mostly of the relationships and similarities of the main characters. Sémolué argues that each film contains a "decisive moment" when the character "understands the reason for wanting what he does and thereafter identifies himself more and more with his passion."

149  'Six personnages en quête d'auteurs; débat sur le cinéma français', Cahiers du Cinéma 71 (May), 16-29.  

Bresson's work is a frequent example in this debate on the contemporary cinema among the editors of Cahiers du Cinéma.




*150  Anon., 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', Radio-CinémaTélévision 426 (16 March). 

Cited in entry 557. Fiche filmographique.

*151  Baxter, B., 'Robert Bresson', Film 17 (September-October), 9. 

Cited in Mel Schuster, Motion Picture Direcors: A Bibliography (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press 1973), p. 57.

152  Cardinal, Pierre, 'Maria Casarès parle de Robert Bresson', Radio-Cinéma-Télévision 426 (16 March), 3, 46. 

Casarès, who played Hélène in Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne, speaks of her association with Bresson on that film. He tyrannized everyone on the set, however "sweetly," and treated her like a robot. Casarès consequently came very close to hating him, though she appreciates her performance and the film.

*153  Esnault, Philippe, 'Robert Bresson par René Briot', Cinéma 31 (November). 

Cited in entry 557: "Review of the book which amounts to a study."

154  Estève, Michel, 'Une Réussite exceptionelle: le 'Journal d'un curé de campagne', Revue des Lettres Modernes, 36-38 (Summer), 225-31. 

Estève argues the "profound fidelity" of the film to the structures, themes, and text of Bernanos's novel. To this end, he discusses the divergent temperaments of both authors, Bresson's careful reading of the novel, and his preparation and choice of scenes, acting, and sound effects, all of which create a spiritual center for the film as secure as that of the novel.

155  Jeanne, René and Ford, Charles, Histoire encyclopédique du cinéma. Vol. 4, Le Cinéma parlant, Paris: S.E.D.E., 310-14. 

Biographical information and a detailed discussion of Giraudoux's participation on Les Anges du péché, a film the authors see as a "masterpiece" next to the "frigid follow-up."

156  Reed, Muriel, 'Robert Bresson: Lens on the Soul', Réalités (In English), 87 (February), 37-41. 

Translation of entry 145.

157  Sémolué, Jean, 'Quelques réflexions sur Dreyer et sur Bresson', Éducation et Cinéma, 15-16 (October-November), 361-65. 

Good comparative study of the work of Bresson and Dreyer. Sémolué argues that Bresson surpasses Dreyer, who was never liberated from the strictures of his religious theme, by committing himself to formal rigor above all else.



158  Briot, René, Robert Bresson [Translated by D. C. C. de Gambra], Madrid: Ediciones Rialp, 124 pp. 

Spanish translation of entry 121, with different plates.

159  Sémolué, Jean, Robert Bresson, Classiques du cinéma, no. 7, Paris: Éditions Universitaires, 190 pp. 

Careful original analyses of each of the first four films, including a detailed comparison of the descriptions in the novel, Journal d'un curé de campagne, with the characters in the film. Sémolué approaches Bresson from a traditional aesthetic viewpoint, and refers throughout his study to Paul Valéry as a theoretical predecessor. Like Valéry, Bresson is an artist who creates works that demand attention and who consequently "struggles with the deterioration of attention" in the spectator. He is also an artist committed to the notion of a piece as a construction of formal relationships. Within these principles, Bresson searches for cinema-specific means that will povide "aesthetic autonomy" for the cinema; his method unites improvisation with initial constraints; and he patiently and always strives for unity and formal perfection. In an illuminating chapter on Bresson's relationship to his main characters, Sémolué argues that their unique quality is not particular. Rather, they have in common with Bresson the tenacity of an "elite soul," which is a response to as well as an imitation of Bresson's own.


160  Agel, Henri, 'Robert Bresson', In Les Grands Cinéastes, Paris: Editions Universitaires, 221-25. 

Review of the first four films stressing Bresson's ideas on art and contemporary critical attitudes toward his work. In conclusion, Agel compares Bresson's characters to those of Rossellini, pointing out that the latter are always bound to a specific time and place in a way that Bresson's never are.

*161  sine auctore, 'Robert Bresson: le 'Pickpocket' sera un film de mains, d'objets et de regards', Arts (17 June). 

Cited in entry 196.

162  Anon., 'Robert Bresson, notre Penelope', Cinéma 59, no. 41 (December), 71-73. 

The writer does not like Bresson's films, but reports from the set of Pickpocket that "for each shot, Bresson has a rendezvous with grace."

163  Anon., 'Les Rythmes d'un film doivent être des battements de coeur', L'Express 445 (23 December), 38-39. 

Interview with Bresson on the making of Pickpocket. Also includes statements on cinemascope, realism, and his treatment of actors.

*164  Anon., 'Six films, six faces', Unifrance 50 (July-September), 25. 

Cited in Mel Schuster, Motion Picture Directors: A Bibliography (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1973), p. 57.

165  Baroncelli, Jean de, 'Le Cinéma: Pickpocket', Le Monde (20-21 December), 13. 

Review: the film is without characters or time or place, but "great" because of its integrity.

166  Bazin, André, ''Le Journal d'un curé de campagne' et la stylistique de Robert Bresson', In Qu'est-ce que le cinéma? Vol. 2, Le Cinéma et les autres arts, Paris: Editions du Cerf, 33-54. 

See entry 368 for annotation. Reprint of entry 44.

167  Charensol, Georges, 'Le Chef d'oeuvre de Robert Bresson', Les Nouvelles Littéraires (24 December), 10. 

Positive review of Pickpocket, a "singular" film. Bresson is deemed an inspiration because no one else is capable of using the medium in an equally rigorous way.

*168  Collet, Jean, 'Vers le cinéma abstrait', Radio-Cinéma-Télévision 497 (27 December), 52. 

Cited in entry 557.

169  Cortade, René, ''Pickpocket' ou le roman russe à la glacière', Arts 754 (23 December), 7. 

Recognizes Bresson's preeminence as an artist, but feels that he has gone astray with a bad idea and a character who does not respond to his searching camera. Cortade suggests that Bresson adapt something with which he has stronger affinities, like Camus's L'Etranger, rather than caricature Dostoevsky.

170  Ford, Charles, 'Robert Bresson', Films in Review 10, no. 2 (February), 65-67, 79. 

Gossip and firsthand information on Bresson's career before Pickpocket, including the early days before Les Anges du péché.

171  Guyonnet, René, ''Pickpocket': Robert Bresson est allé encore plus loin', L'Express 444 (17 December), 5. 

Positive review that emphasizes the minimalism and formal organization of the film.

172  Malle, Louis, 'Avec 'Pickpocket' Bresson a trouvé', Arts 755 (30 December), l, 6. 

Malle defends Bresson and Pickpocket against the critics, insisting that the filmmaker be allowed the same freedom to interpret reality as a painter, and that he not be judged by any "failure" to rely on theatrical conventions.

173  Marcabru, Pierre, 'Pickpocket', Combat (17 December), 2. 

Short article on the egotism and narcissism of Bresson's films in general and of Pickpocket in particular. The film is a "dialogue between a brain and two hands" and the consequent struggle of Michel to affirm himself through the former and not the latter.

174  Nauriac, Claude, 'A propos de 'Pickpocket'', Le Figaro Littéraire 714 (26 December), 16. 

Positive review, though Mauriac is critical of the sentimental ending.

175  Pelegri, Jean, 'Robert Bresson ou la fascination', Les Lettres Françaises 60 (31 December-6 January 1960), 1, 4. 

Pelegri, a critic, played the part of the inspector in Pickpocketand here comments on the values and ends of Bresson's cinema. He suggests that the simplicity of the images is similar in intention to a request for concentration from a hypnotist and concludes that all the films turn on a "double fascination": the fascination of the main character with a project and Bresson's (and the spectator's) fascination with the process involved.

176  Rochereau, Jean, 'Le Nouveau Film de Bresson est un oeuvre ou s'offronteront l'âme et la main', La Croix (24 September), 6. 

Background information on Pickpocket mostly about the actors.

177  Rochereau, Jean, 'Pickpocket', La Croix (30 December). 

Rochereau pronounces the film a failure because Michel has not the capacity for revelation so abruptly assumed at the end, and because the realistic attention to detail also subverts this expected change.

178  Roud, Richard, 'The Early Work of Robert Bresson', Film Culture 20, 44-52. 

Mostly a reworking of the critical literature on the first three films. Roud states that the films are abstractions "counterpointing reality," which succeed in giving their religious theme "dramatic life."

179  Sadoul, Georges, 'Délits et châtiment', Les Lettres Françaises 804 (24 December), 7. 

Detailed review of Pickpocket, a "free adaptation" of Crime and Punishment. The similarities of the two works are outlined: in the hero, the detective, the mother, the crime, the philosophy, and the treatment of the relationship between religion and society.

180*  Salachas, Gilbert, 'Itinéraire secret dans un monde désincarné', Radio-Cinéma-Télévision 519 (27 December). 

Cited in entry 557.

*181  Sengissen, Paul, 'Un Film interne et révélateur', Radio-Cinéma-Télévision 519 (27 December), 53. 

Cited in entry 645.

*182   Trémois, Claude-Marie , 'Que reste-t-il des formes parfaites mais sans substance', Radio-Cinéma-Télévision 519 (27 December), 53. 

Cited in entry 645.

183  Trémois, Claude-Marie , 'Robert Bresson tourne le film de l'incertitude', Radio-Cinéma-Télévision no. 497 (26 July), 2-3. 

Background on the making of Pickpocket and a discussion of Bresson's ideas concerning the film.

*184  Yvoir, Jean d', 'La Prison de Bresson a-t-elle une issue?' Radio-Cinéma-Télévision 519 (27 December), 53. 

Cited in entry 645.




185  Agel, Henri and Ayfre, Amedée, ''Pickpocket': débat sur le film de Robert Bresson', Recherches et Débats 32 (September), 98-105. 

Neither a debate nor on Pickpocket but rather two short essays on Bresson's work as a whole. Agel argues that Bresson is an artist particularly sensitive to the problem of evil ("interior demons") and also "one of the three or four people in the history of the cinema who has thought enough of his cinematographic style to accord it the importance of writing." He describes this style as having three characteristics: a classic understatement that makes it an "art of suggestion," an avoidence of the dramatic and anecdotal, and a dialectical basis in the editing. Ayfre, more simply, discusses the dual presence of liberty and grace in each of the films.

*186  Anon., 'French Film: A Discussion', Film 26 (November-December) ,10. 

Cited in Mel Schuster, Motion Picture Directors: A Bibliography (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1973), p. 57.

187  Bastaire, Jean, 'Petite Introduction à Robert Bresson', Esprit (March), 565-77. 

Traces Bresson's career through Pickpocket and its contribution to the elaboration of a film language. Bastaire discusses the antitheatrical nature of Bresson's aesthetic and the relationship of the commentaries and dialogue to it. He slights Les Anges du péché and Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne as revealing little of Bresson's mature style, but discusses them both at length in the second half of the article on Bresson's philosophy and "universe of signs."

188  Billard, Pierre , 'Pickpocket', Cinéma 43 (February), 115-116. 

A negative review: "From Eisenstein to Bresson, or the death of an art."

*189  Billard, Pierre, 'Le Regard calme de Bresson', L'Express (3-29 May). 

Cited in entry 557.

*190  Carta, Jean, 'Manifeste pour un anti-cinéma', Témoignage Chrétien (15 January). 

Cited in entry 645.

191  Collet, Jean, 'Pickpocket ', Téléciné 88 (March-April), 18 pp. [Fiche filmographique, no. 363.] 

Detailed résumé and dialogue extracts, as well as sections on the visual structure, the rhythm of the découpage, and the characters. Collet emphasizes Bresson's exceptional rigor and unity as applied to the theme of communication, and reveals many insights into the specific visual compositions of Pickpocket which he illuminates with comparisons to other film stylists and other arts.

192  Collet, Jean , 'Rencontre avec Robert Bresson', Téléciné 89 (May-June), 1-3. 

Collet has interviewed Bresson and reports here on his ideas and his manner. One of the conditions of the interview was that Bresson see the article before publication. And so, printed here, next to the article, is a page from the original manuscript, extensively rewritten and corrected by Bresson.

193  Davies, Brian, 'Diary of a Country Priest', Film Journal 16 (August),79-82. 

Review primarily concerned with the differences in character and theme between the film and the novel.

194  Delahaye, Michel, 'Pickpocket', Cinéma 60, no. 43 (February), 116-17. 

Positive review of this film, in which the object is "systematically valorized" and man "systematically scorned"; a fascinating film about theft committed purely for the sake of theft, to deny and conquer the world of others.

195  Durgnat, Raymond, 'Pickpocket', Films and Filming 7, no. 1 (October), 25. 

Durgnat finds Pickpocket to be Bresson's least imposing film and interprets it as a love story. He argues that Michel's obsession is a self-destructive one that reflects his refusal to admit his need for Jeanne.

196  Estève, Michel, 'Permanence de Robert Bresson', Études Cinématographiques 3-4 (2d quarter), 225-231. 

Pickpocket reviewed as a character study, marked by a dialectic between pride and grace. Michel steals in order to elevate himself above all others, closer to the absolute.

197  Gilson, René, 'Pickpocket', Cinéma 60, no. 43 (Feburary), 117-118. 

Thoughts on the film, without much focus. It "troubles and touches" Gilson, but he does not know precisely why and compares Bresson's searching to the concerns of unspecified "young novelists."

198  Godard, Jean-Luc and Doniol-Valcroze, Jacques, 'Entretien avec Robert Bresson', Cahiers du Cinéma 104 (February), 3-9. 

Bresson talks about Pickpocket, the significance of hands, right choices and necessary choices, commentary as a rhythmic element, and his other projects.

199  Greene, Marjorie, 'Robert Bresson', Film Quarterly 13, no. 3 (Spring), 4-10. 

Description of Bresson's work habits and methods during all phases of production, including a section on his directing of actors.

200  Martin, Marcel, 'Pickpocket', Cinéma 60, no. 43 (February), 114-15. 

Positive review, though critical of the "dramatic pirouette" that ends the film.

201  Rhode, Eric, 'Pickpocket', Sight and Sound 29, no. 4 (Autumn), 193-94. 

Review that suggests there is a sexual-economic core in the film, but is mostly concerned with Bressons manipulative approach to the characters.

202  Richard Roud, 'French Outside With the Inside Look', Films and Filming 6, no. 7 (April), 9-10. 

Survey of career through Pickpocket. Roud argues that tragedy is not only implicit in the plots, but also in the form and tone.

203  Seguin, Louis, ''Pickpocket': le phono', Positif 33 (April), 40-41. 

In a very negative review, Seguin discusses Bresson's ideas as "simplistic." Only Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne deserves Bresson's exalted reputation as a nurturer of "debates on high-altitude metaphysics."

204  Sémolué, Jean, 'Les Limites de la liberté', Études Cinématographiques 3-4 (2d quarter), 230-40. 

Sémolué finds Pickpocket "mechanical" in comparison to Bresson's other films, and Michel the most "aggressive, blunt, and impatient" of characters. Includes many psychological insights into the work.

205  Tailleur, Roger, 'Pickpocket: la phearme', Positif 33 (April), 41-44. 

Negative review: "Dostoevsky written by an abusive disciple of Hemingway . . . . A perfect exercise in style if one accepts a definition of style as the act of jumping over intermediate ideas, points, and words."

*206  Vas, Robert, ''Pickpocket." Monthly Film Bulletin (October). 

Cited in entry 283.

207  Wagner, Jean, 'L'Homme derrière l'objet', Cahiers du Cinéma 104 (February), 49-50. 

Wagner argues an increased objectification and depersonalization of Bresson's characters, which culminates in Pickpocket: Bresson's style is "arid and secret"; it is "difficult to be impervious to its beauty, but also difficult to get to its bottom."

208  Walter, Anne, 'L'Angoisse de la certitude', Cahiers du Cinéma 104 (February), 47-48. 

Review of Pickpocket: "Not only a brilliant exercise in style," but the most "mysterious" of Bresson's films.

209  Wuilleumier, Marie-Claire, 'Un Langage cinématographique', Esprit, n.s., no. 6 (June), 960-67. 

Wuilleumier distinguishes a new kind of language in the films of Resnais, Tati, Bresson, and others -- different from the traditional language, which is based on dramatic continuity. From this introductory section, she focuses on Resnais and Bresson and their inclination to include what happens between events, to mix up time and space, and to use the word (voice-over) as an "instrument of the search." She separates the two directors by saying that in Bresson, the word and image remain submissive to the interior signification of the character, while in Resnais, the word and image are anarchic, a sign of interior chaos.




210  Audinet, Pierre, ''Le Procès de Jeanne d'Arc' et se tourne à huis clos', Les Nouvelles Littéraires (5 October), 9. 

Report of Bresson working and an interview on the set of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc.

211  Estève, Michel, ''Nazarin' et le 'Journal d'un cur é de campagne'', Études Cinématographiques 10-11 (3d quarter), 217-234. 

Though philosophical opposites, these two films have much in common, as adaptations of novels and as documents of a spiritual journey that puts into question the place of Christ in the modern world.

212  Ripkens, Martin, 'Ein zum Tode Verurteilter ist entflohen', Filmkritik 10 (October), 499-502. 

Positive review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé. Ripkins admires the documentary detail and editing, and finds the themes to be the same as Bresson's other films: the illustration of a "power of consciousness, through which one person is able to influence and change others.



213  Estève, Michel, Robert Bresson, Cinéma d'aujour d'hui, no. 8., Paris: Seghers, 221 pp. 

Chapters on adaptation, space and time, the main characters, acting, Bresson's aesthetic, and the particularity of his worldview. Estève takes a well-researched and eclectic viewpoint, which relies on a strong literary background. He groups the films chronologically according to the extent to which they move away from what he sees as Bresson's initially literary sensibility. In this way, Pickpocket becomes a high point, revealing an aesthetic where the image gains precedence over the word. The films as a whole are characterized by space manipulated to explore the dialectic of the abstract and the concrete, a sophisticated literary sense that produces subtle and respectful adaptations, and an entirely subjective approach to time.
  Estève sees the characters as central to the aesthetic, marked by a stubbornness and willfulness that they put in service to a "violent and profound" passion. Their passion is for "true existence," and the films trace the path of liberation that leads to it, allowing this basic theme (prison/freedom) both a literal and a figurative presence.
  Also includes extracts from the découpages of Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne (the end), Journal d'un curé de campagne (Delbende's death, and the countess's funeral), Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé (Jost's appearance to the beginning of the escape), Pickpocket (the fair, and the Gare de Lyon sequence), and Procès de Jeanne d'Arc (the "sign" and St. Michel). A valuable section; only the extracts from Pickpocket are included in the second 1974 edition. Also a long section of excerpted criticism, filmography, and bibliography. See entry 557 for annotation of the second edition.


214  Anon., 'Le 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc' (Cannes 62)', Cinéma 62, no. 67, 94. 

Cited in Cinéma Index, 1954-1971.

215  Anon., 'Review of Cannes '62', Cinéma 62, no. 66, 12. 

Cited in Cinéma Index 1954-1971

216  Anon., 'Robert Bresson Talks to Our Film Critic', Guardian (5 November), 5. 

Cited in British Humanities Index, 1962. Interview.

217  Arkadin., 'Film Clips', Sight and Sound 32, no. 1 (Winter), 34. 

Review of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc that is mostly an account of a meeting with Bresson in London; includes quotes from him on Godard, Malle, and his old films.

218  Astre, Georges-Albert, 'Entretien avec Robert Bresson et Jean Guitton', Études Cinématographiques, 18-19 (3d quarter), 85-97. 

Guitton, a historian and authority on Jeanne d'Arc, speaks at length of her spirituality and similarity to Christ. Bresson then talks of his own fascination with Jeanne, her youth, her lack of prudence, her purity, her failure (martyrdom), and the analogy with Christ. Both deemphasize her as a symbol of nationalism.

219  Ayfre, Amedée, 'L'universe di Bresson', Cineforum 17 (July). 

Translation of entry 129. See entry 429 for annotation.

220  Baroncelli, Jean de, 'Au festival de Cannes: Présentation du 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc' de Robert Bresson', Le Monde (20-21 May), 19. 

Baroncelli feels that Bresson has taken a serious risk with this film and considers it Bresson's "secret" that emotion comes from such simplicity and austerity.

221  Benayoun, Robert, 'De l'ange a l'éclipse: un triomphe du fond' Positif 47 (July), 68-69. 

Short notice bemoaning the selection of Bresson's Procès de Jeanne d'Arc as the French entry at Cannes.

222  Butcher, Maryvonne, 'Bresson at Cannes', Blackfriars 28 (July-August), 338-339. 

Favorable review of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc which Butcher suggests is superior to Dreyer's Passion of Joan of Arc.

223  Capdenac, M., 'J'ai voulu que Jeanne d'Arc soit un personnage d'aujourd'hui', Les Lettres Françaises 928 (24 May), 12. 

Interview with Bresson; comments on his attitude towards psychology, his faith in the public, and Procès de Jeanne d'Arc.

224  Chevallier, Jacques, 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', Image et Son 156 (November),21-28. 

Cited in entry 557.

225  Collet, Jean, 'Pickpocket', Télérama 653 (12 July), 29-30. 

Plot synopsis and criticism. Collet sees the film as a "dialectic of man and destiny," taking note in particular of the objectifying of parts of the body, which he interprets as an equivalent to the idea of man as an object of destiny.

226  Durand, Philippe, 'Le Drôle de chemin de Robert Bresson', Image et Son 156 (November), 3-7. 

Durand has several novel approaches to Bresson's work: Michel and the curé as homosexuals, an occult interpretation of obsession with certain numbers, and Jeanne d'Arc as the "virile image of the trinity."

227  Durand, Philippe, 'Dossier', Image et Son 156 (November), 8-13. 

A collection of quotations from Bresson and his critics arranged by subject: realism-abstraction, tragedy, Bresson at work, the theory and practice of acting, and so forth.

228  Durand, Philippe and Cauthier, Guy, 'Dossier et filmographie', Image et Son, 156 (November),14-19. 

Chronologically ordered credits and critical quotations on the films through Procès de Jeanne d'Arc.

229  Estève, Michel (ed.), 'Jeanne d'Arc à l'écran', Études Cinématographiques 18-19 (3d quarter). 

Special issue with articles on the several film versions of Jeanne d'Arc's life by Carl Dreyer, Gustav Uciky, Victor Fleming, Roberto Rossellini, Otto Preminger, and Bresson. The section on Procès de Jeanne d'Arc includes an extract from the découpage, an interview with Jean Guitton and Bresson (see entry 218), and articles by Jean Mambrino, Jean Sémolué, and Michel Estève. (See separate entries under each author.)

230  Estève, Michel, 'Une Présentation du Journal d'un curé de campagne de Georges Bernanos', Le Français Dans le Monde 11 (September), 43-48. 

Study guide for the novel, focusing on its structure and illustrated with stills from the film.

231  Estève, Michel, 'Une Tragedie au present de narration', Études Cinématographiques 18-19 (3d quarter), 108-19.
In a detailed study of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc, Estève presents the film as a Christian tragedy because of the dramatic conflicts, the serious tone, and the language, which he analyzes as if it were poetry.

232  Gillet, John, 'Festivals: Cannes/Mar del Plata', Sight and Sound 31, no. 3 (Summer), 130. 

Negative review of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc and its "television technique."

233  Hérubel, Michel, 'Robert Bresson au travail', Le Figaro Littéraire (19 May), 21. 

Hérubel played the part of Brother Ysembart in Procès de Jeanne d'Arc and here presents excerpts from his journal, describing mostly the financial problems that plagued the film and Bresson's last-minute decision to reshoot many of the beginning scenes.

234  Mambrino, Jean, 'Les Voix et la parole', Études Cinématographiques 18-19 (3d quarter), 83-84. 

A short, poetic introduction to the group of articles on Procès de Jeanne d'Arc that follows in the same volume.

*235  Markopoulos, Gregory, 'Robert Bresson: A Brief Survey', Scenario 3, no. 2, 5-6. 

Cited in entry 626.

236  Martin, Marcel, 'Histoire du cinéma en 120 films: 1945: 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne'', Cinéma 64, 14( 

Review of Bresson's "masterpiece," which is exemplary in its "pureness" of cinematic language.

237  Parinaud, André, 'Entretien avec Robert Bresson', Arts 894 (12 December), 5. 

Detailed interview on Jeanne d'Arc and the historical circumstances and personalities that surrounded her trial. Excellent questions, to which Bresson gives more than his usual clipped responses.

238  Pernoud, Regine, 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc', Les Nouvelles Littéraires (6 December). 

Cited in entry 256. Interview.

239  Pinel, Vincent, 'Le Paradoxe du non-comedian', Études Cinématographiques 14-15 (1st quarter), 78-84. 

General discussion of amateur and nonprofessional actors, as well as a specific analysis of Bresson's philosophy of acting and the results of it as seen in his films.

240  Rhode, Eric, 'Correspondence: 'Pickpocket', Sight and Sound 31, no. 3 (Summer), 154. 

Rhode argues (in a letter of response to entry 241) the question of realism and Bresson's failure to establish or use conventions.

241  Roud, Richard, 'Novel, Novel: Fable, Fable?' Sight and Sound 31, no. 2 (Spring), 84-88. 

Using a vague distinction between a novel-like film and a fable-like film, Roud places Pickpocket in the latter category, a "new kind of narrative which frees the filmmaker from the obligations of story-telling." See also entry 240.)

242  Sadoul, Georges, 'Bresson, au sommet de son art: 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc', Les Lettres Françaises 928 (24 May), 10. 

Review that stresses the plainness and everyday quality of "this most direct, this most classic" of films.

243  Sémolué, Jean, 'Passion et procès (de Dreyer à Bresson)', Études Cinématographique 18-19 (3d quarter), 98-107. 

Comparison of La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc and Procès de Jeanne d'Arc, emphasizing the formal construction of both; Dreyer's treatment is more aggressive and his angle of framing more subjective than Bresson's. Dreyer's Jeanne is a "victim ruled by her heart," while Bresson's is a "prisoner ruled by her conscience."

244  Vas, Robert, 'The Trial of Joan of Arc', Sight and Sound 32, no. 1 (Winter), 37. 

The film is a "modern rendering of Joan's story." Bresson has ignored "the tremendous human battle for certainty," however, and so failed to "add the decisive touch."




245  Anon., 'Pickpocket', Newsweek (3 June), 84. 

Positive review: "Bresson bullies his actors into wood and then makes them bloom . . . . He is one of the few which prove that movies are art."

*246  Anon., 'Le Procès de Jeanne d'Arc', Cinéma 63, no. 76, 126. 

Cited in Cinéma Index, 1954-1971.

*247  Anon., 'Robert Bresson', Film 35 (Spring), 6. 

Cited in Mel Schuster, Motion Picture Directors: A Bibliography (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1973).

248  'Après six films intimidants et 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc': Cinéma 63 remet en question Robert Bresson, l'intouchable de cinéma français' , Cinéma 63, no. 73 (February), 13-33. 

Cinéma's "dossier of the month", a discussion of Bresson's first six films, led by Pierre Billard and introduced by Philippe Esnault. Other participants are Robert Benayoun, Yves Boisset, Marcel Martin, and Michel Mesnil. The introduction states that the three main "keys" to Bresson's work are Jansenism, homosexuality, and interior realism. This approach sets the tone for the rest of the discussion, which centers on Bresson's "creative impotence," his narcissism, and the lack of continuity in his films. Impersonalization is seen as a progressively important theme, and Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne and Les Anges du péché are deemed the most complex, as well as the only successful, of Bresson's films.

249  Baby, Yvonne, 'Entretien avec Robert Bresson: 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc' est né de paroles a été échaufaudé sur des paroles', Le Monde (16 March), 14. 

Bresson discusses the film in detail and how it relates to the rest of his work. Also comments on improvisation, historical films, and the "auteur" theory.

250  Baroncelli, Jean de, 'Le Cinéma: 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc'', Le Monde (17-18 March), 15. 

Positive review emphasizing the integrity of Bresson's career. Baroncelli is somewhat afraid, however, that the "grave, noble, and pure" style has reached it limit and might be approaching mannerism.

251  Beylie, Claude, 'Corps mémorable', Cahiers du Cinéma 143 (May), 40-42. 

Review of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc that focuses on the paradoxical results of Bresson's minute examination of the physical presence of his characters. Bresson wishes that his characters transcend appearances; but because of this desire, he risks their appearing as mere objects.

252  Billard, Pierre, 'L'Écran: 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc', Le Français Dans Le Monde 17 (June), 22. 

Review critical of the sparse treatment, though impressed with the language.

253  Bory, Jean-Louis, 'Le 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc': une Jeanne immobile, un feu glacial', Arts 908 (20 March), 7. 

Admires the film, but finds it impossible to respond emotionally to the "impoverished images."

254  Cameron, Ian, 'Interview with Robert Bresson', Movie 7 (February-March), 28-29. 

Cameron asks mostly questions about the meaning of the imagery in Procès de Jeanne d'Arc and gets only the briefest replies, including a scolding: "I think you want me too much to explain what I did." Reprinted: entries 374, 437, 470.

255  Chapier, Henry, 'Robert Bresson moraliste: 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc' ou l'éloge de l'ascèse', Combat (16-17 March), 10. 

"A profound moral meditation on the limits of justice."

256  Charensol, Georges, 'Un Art d'âme', Les Nouvelles Littéraires (21 March), 12. 

Positive review of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc, which Charensol finds to be a natural extension of Bresson's previous work.

257  Chauvet, Louis, 'Les Films: 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc'', Le Figaro (19 March), 22. 

Though critical of the severe treatment and "arbitrary" choice of dialogue, Chauvet thinks Florence Carrez is "perfect," and in general finds the film moving.

*258  Chevallier, Jacques, 'Robert Bresson: 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', in: Regards neufs sur le cinéma. Edited by Jacques Chevallier and Max Egly. Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 172-77. 

Cited in the Catalogue of the Book Library of the British Film Institute.

259  Comolli, Jean Louis, 'L'Autre ailleurs', Cahiers du Cinéma 143 (May), 42-49. 

In an analysis of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc Comolli explores Bresson's refusal of cultural "references," and his wary aesthetic that makes him deny things their wholeness and show them in pieces. Bresson is not only a creator, but an analyst and critic who concentrates on the poles, never the ameliorating center or intermediary path. His art is to accept the limited frame of the camera (of the self) and then to step back and see only what is there. Comolli most interestingly notes the absence of water in the film: "Cosmic fusion where matter and ether melt easily one into the other . . . after the disappearance of their synthetic element: water . . . . Universe where water loses its familiar role as intermediary. There is left only earth and air and their fusion point: fire."

260  Dort, Bernard, 'Robert Bresson ou le malentendu', France-Observateur (21 March). 

Cited in entry 557.

261  Fayard, Jean, 'Le Cinéma', La Revue de Paris 70 (January), 54. 

Review of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc: Fayard is impressed with the "inventive detail."

262  Garrigou-Lagrange, Madeleine, 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc', Téléciné 112 (October) 9 pp. [Fiche filmographique, no. 423.] 

Detailed synopsis and thorough discussion of the film, centering on an idea of the dialogue as an ablolute, the only narrative thread. In this way, Garrigou-Lagrange argues that Bresson has chosen a text as the living material, instead of a character.

263  Garrigou-Lagrange, Madeleine, 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc', Téléciné 109 (February-March): [1]. 

Positive review in the "à première vue" section, in which the article is first distributed to other critics for comments: here, by Henri LeMaître, Amedée Ayfre, Henri Agel, and Jean Collet.

*264  Giard, Robert, 'Pickpocket', Seventh Art 1, no. 4, 14. 

Cited in entry 645.

265  Gill, Brendan, 'The Current Cinema', New Yorker (25 May), 154. 

Pickpocket described as an "oddly wooden and very solemn picture . . . which could have been brought off in comic terms."

266  Hartung, Philip T., 'The Screen: L Is For Life', Commonweal (7 June), 305. 

Positive review of Pickpocket despite the "offbeat material."

267  Kauffmann, Stanley, 'Films', New Republic (8 June), 28. 

Negative review of Pickpocket: "Bresson too often opens a scene with a shot of the setting into which a character walks . . . . The girl is a Gallic platitude . . . . The hero is a vacancy, not a character."

268  Kovacs, Yves, 'Entretien avec Robert Bresson', Cahiers du Cinéma 140 (February), 410. 

Bresson speaks of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc, Dreyer's La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc and his feeling that the public is underestimated by producers.

*269  Magnan, Henry, 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc', La Libération (23-24 March). 

Cited in entry 557.

270  Mauriac, Claude, 'Le Cinéma: 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc'', Le Figaro Littéraire (16 March), 22. 

Mauriac is critical of Bresson's refusal to allow his characters any freedom and of his yen for purity, which destroys what he wants to describe: Jeanne's God is not merely God, but Robert Bresson, a proposition Mauriac finds distasteful.

271  Mayersberg, Paul, 'The Trial of Joan of Arc', Movie 7 (February-March), 30-32. 

Visual analysis based on a notion concerning "detached camera"; Mayersberg focuses on symbolic interpretation of the images and compositions, with frequent references to other films.

*272  Munier, Roger, Contre l'image, Paris: Gallimard, pp. 46-48. 

Cited in entry 373.

273  Phillippe, Pierre, 'Filmographie', Cinéma 63 73 (February), 115. 

Annotated filmography of Bresson's work.

274  'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc', Movie 8 (April), 28-34. 

Discussion of the film, in particular its physical environment among Ian Cameron, Paul Mayersberg, and other Movie editors.

*275  Rabine, Henry, 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc', La Croix (28 March). 

Cited in entry 557.

276  Rivette, Jacques, 'Note sur l'insuccès commercial', Cahiers du Cinéma 143 (May), 49. 

Testimonial to the beauty of Bresson's work and a plea for its understanding. Buñuel and Rossellini, Rivette claims, are "rhetorical" by comparison.

*277  Sadoul, Georges, 'Comme un coeur palpitant sous la chair', Les Lettres Françaises 970 (21 March). 

Cited in entry 557.

278  Sadoul, Georges, 'Robert Bresson à Georges Sadoul: si l'on veut que passe le courant électrique il faut dénuder les fils', Les Lettres Françaises 968 (7 March), 1, 9. 

Bresson speaks of his prestige, the New Wave, and of being described as a Jansenist.

279  Saint-Robert, Philippe, 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc', Combat (10 April), 1-2. 

An editorial on justice prompted by the "profoundness" of the film.

280  Sémolué, Jean, ''Procès de Jeanne d'Arc' dans l'oeuvre de Robert Bresson', Esprit (June), 1190-94. 

Sémolué discusses the film as the extreme instance of Bresson's theories about the pared image.

281  Thirard, Paul Louis, 'Le Cinéma intellectual: 'L'Immortelle', 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc', 'Les Abysses'', Positif 54-55 (July-August), 123-25. 

Wrap-up of the attitudes of the always hostile Positif critics toward Bresson, and criticism of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc for being overly intellectual.

282  Vecchiali, Paul, 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc': les fausses apparences', Cahiers du Cinéma 143 (May), 35-39. 

Long introductory analysis of Pickpocket as Bresson's most perfect film, but also the "least controlled." Michel's tearful look at his mother's funeral is a communication from Bresson of what he expects from the spectator: "sympathy . . . that we sometimes call demand." Procès de Jeanne d'Arc is the culmination of Bresson's formal reserve, as well as that kind of subjective appeal: "Bresson is Jeanne; what he expects from us is curiously like what we expect from a priest: confession."

283  Young, Colin, 'Conventional-Unconventional', Film Quarterly 17, no. 1 (Fall), 14-30. 

Scattered discussion of conventional and uconventional forms of narrative in film, with comments on Bresson and Godard, the problems of motivation and conflict, and the traditional conventions of the theater and the novel.

284  Yvoire, Jean d', 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc', Télérama 724 (1 December), 57-58. 

Synopsis and analysis based on an idea of the film as a duel between Jeanne's sainthood and the bishop's pride. The style is judged daring in its extremity, but also criticized for not being extreme enough. Yvore claims that the shots of Jeanne's feet walking over the stone path and of the dogs are not successfully placed in the dual formation that dominates the film.




285  Anon., 'Diary of a Country Priest', Playgoer (8 October). 

Account of the reconstruction of the film after twenty minutes had been cut by the American distributor. The author claims it was put together under his supervision at Dartmouth College Films.

286  Ayfre, Amedée, 'L'Univers de Robert Bresson', in Conversion aux images. Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 255-275. 

Reprint of entry 129. See entry 429 for annotation.

287  Collet, Jean, ''Le Journal d'un curé de campagne': analyse d'un grand film', Télérama 743 (12 April), 57-58. 

Synopsis and analysis based on an idea of the film as a series of encounters between the curé and the outside world that work to define him as a man of solitude.

*288  Coty, Guy, 'Diary of a Country Priest', Film 1, 21-22. 

Cited in entry 625.

289  Jacob, Gilles, 'La Revolution d'une âme: Robert Bresson', in Le Cinéma moderne, Lyon: Serdoc 23-32. 

Study of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé that focuses on stylistic traits as well as themes and their relationship to Bresson's work as a whole. Jacob feels that Bresson walks a fine line between the intelligence that dominates his films and the passion that bursts from underneath. He argues, though, that he succeeds in leaving both paths open to an understanding of the films.

*290  Jenny, Urs, '[Review of 'Pickpocket'], Film (Munich) 8 (June-July). 

Cited in entry 687.

291  Ripkins, Martin, 'In Fernsehen: 'Pickpocket', Filmkritik 6 (June), 312-314. 

Review of Pickpocket. Ripkins compares it to Hitchcock's Rope and argues that it is a "renouncement" of that film.

292  Sarris, Andrew, 'Films', Village Voice (16 April), 13. 

Review of Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne: A "brilliant work" unjustly vilified and an aesthetic investigation of "determinism and free will." Reprinted: ently 489.

*293  Sontag, Susan, 'Spiritual Style in the Films of Robert Bresson', Seventh Art (Summer). 

Cited in entry 424. See entry 355 for annotation.

294  Taylor, John Russell, 'Robert Bresson', in Cinema Eye, Cinema Ear : Some Key Filmmakers of the Sixties, New York: Hill & Wang, pp. 115-37. 

Survey of Hresson's career through Procès de Jeanne d'Arc. Taylor characterizes Bresson as a "quietist" and a practitioner of the "autocratic view" of the director. He then indicates several "dangers" of Bresson's technique, which actually turn out to be only one -- the casting of nonactors to "be" the part. This criticism is based on Taylor's dislike of Martin LaSalle's portrayal of Michel in Pickpocket



295  Canziani, Alfonso, Robert Bresson, un Maestro del Cinema Francese, Milan: Silva, 127 pp. 

Favorable, generalized criticism of Bresson's films through Procès de Jeanne d'Arc. Canziani characterizes Bresson as a personal author who "has created a style [and] steered clear of . . . a 'safe' language based on close-ups and the use of light and shadow in their most current symbolism of sin and verity, mystery and revelation." He sees the concept of conflict as basic to the films and the narrative itself as the result of the "collision of passions and sentiments."


*296  Anon., 'Au hasard, Balthazar', Cinéma 65, no.100, 14. 

Cited in Cinéma Index, 1954-1971.

297  Anon., 'Cinema: A Stake in History', Time (12 February), 91. 

Positive review of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc that describes it as "defiantly literal" and "quintessential history, unique and timeless."

298  Anon., 'The Liturgy', Newsweek (15 February), 90, 92. 

Positive review of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc: "Perhaps Bresson's most interesting film." Emphasizes the peephole as the lone "effect" that opens up the film.

299  Bachy, Victor, Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé. Ministre de l'education Nationale et de la Culture Service Cinématographique, 66 pp. [Fiche filnographique.] 

Extensive bibliography on the film, a list of sequences, visual analysis including a discussion of point of view, and an interview. Includes many personal details, as the interview takes place in Bresson's home.

300  Blue, James, 'Excerpts from an Interview with Robert Bresson', Mimeographed. Los Angeles. 

Blue, an educator and filmmaker, questions Bresson mostly on his methods. The responses here excerpted are generalizations similar to those in Notes on Cinematography.

301  Coleman. John, 'Early Bresson', New Statesman 69, no. 1789 (25 June), 1021-22. 

Negative review of Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne, which is described as having "smug" dialogue and a "cold economy."

302  Gill, Brendan, 'The Current Cinema', New Yorker (20 February), 137. 

Review of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc which fails because of Joan's remoteness, but is an "honorable failure," nonetheless.

303  Gilles, Paul, 'Robert Bresson: une patience d'âme', Arts (3 November), 40-41. 

Interview done at Guyancourt, where Au hasard, Balthazar was being filmed. Gilles emphasizes Bresson's other occupation as a painter and his intention to return to it some day.

304  Guitry, Sacha, 'Contre le cinéma', Cahiers du cinéma 173 (December), 80. 

General comments from Guitry on Bresson's faultless sense of taste and lack of pretension.

305  Hartung, Philip T., 'The Screen: Not for Burning', Commonweal (19 February), 671. 

Positive review of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc which Hartung prefers to the Dreyer version because of its "unswerving realism.'

306  Kauffmann, Stanley, 'New Joan, Old Jokes', New Republic (13 February), 26. 

Negative review of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc. Kauffmann admires Bresson's "purity of intention and execution," but pronounces it "not enough" to make the film moving.

307  Kuhlbrodt, Dietrich, 'Der Prozess de Jeanne d'Arc', Filmkritik 9, no. 12 (December), 694-695. 

Review of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc that argues that Bresson is a "painter" rather than a storyteller, that he paints a visual form rather than a narrative.

308  McAnany, Emile G. and Williams, Robert, 'Diary of a Country Priest', in Filmviewer's Handbook Glen Rock, N.J.: Deus Books, Paulist Press, 128-133. 

Routine wrap-up of the film in connection with its use in a film series, including questions for discussion.

*309  Seelman-Eggebert, Ulrich, 'Vergessenes von Robert Bresson', Beilage zum Film-Dienst 43 (27 October). 

Cited in entry 687.

310  Sarris, Andrew, 'Film', Village Voice (18 February), 15. 

Review of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc: "Masterly mise-en-scène linked to the deepest meanings imaginable." Sarris admires, but does not like this film, which "morbidly" emphasizes Jeanne's "professional virginity." Reprinted: entry 489.

311  Téchiné, André, 'Bresson et le hasard', Cahier du Cinéma 170 (September), 8. 

Report from the set of Au hasard Balthazar.



312  Drouget, Robert, Robert Bresson, Premier plan, no. 42, Lyon: Société d'Études, Recherches et Documentation Cinématographique, 109 pp. 

Wide-ranging, irreverent study of Bresson that attempts to fit his work into the larger stream of modern art and literature. His themes are compared to those of Histoire d'O and Camus's L'Étranger, as well as Proust, Gide, Beckett, El Greco, Modigliani, and Valéry. Au hasard, Balthazar is discussed at length, and Bresson is generally characterized as a minimalist whose work expresses modern "boredom" and whose absence of breadth condemns him to making the same film over and over.


*313  Ajame, Pierre, 'Le Cinéma selon Bresson', Les Nouvelles Littéraires (26 May) 

Cited in entry 417.

*314  Alemanno, Roberto, 'Le Mani di ghiaccio di Bresson: I., un 'caso' non approfondito; II., Il Montaggio come 'medium' d'un rapporto dialettico', Cinéma (Rome), 57, 3-12; 58, 3-9. 

Cited in entry 645.

315  Anon., 'Au hasard, Fahrenheit, Balthazar est fini', Téléciné 131 (December), l-2. 

Editorial celebrating the careers and latest films of Bresson, Truffaut, and Resnais. Notes in particular their hard work and respect for the audience, which leads them to offer the "best of themselves."

*316  Arbois, Janick, 'Présence d'un âne et du mystère', Télérama 856 (12 June), 74. 

Cited in entry 557.

*317  Armes, Roy, 'Robert Bresson', in French Cinema Since 1946. Vol. 1, The Great Tradition, London: Zwemmer, 128-45. 

First edition of entry 467. See that entry for annotation.

318  ''Au hasard, Balthazar' de Robert Bresson (débat entre Mireille Latil-LeDantec, Michel Estève, Stanislas Fumet, et Jean d'Yvoire', La Table Ronde 222-23 (July-August), 93-116. 

General discussion of Bresson's aesthetic principles and their variation as displayed in Au hasard, Balthazar. The debate becomes pointed over the question of the unusual number of characters (which for some of the critics means a new reliance on stereotyping) in the film. This, in turn, leads to a discussion of Bresson's essentially antirealist stance.

319  Baby, Yvonne, 'Entretien avec Robert Bresson sur son film 'Au hasard, Balthazar': pas de parabole, pas de symbole', Le Monde (26 May), 14. 

Bresson speaks about Balthazar, including comments on the role of dialogue, the importance of hands, and the presence of symbols.

320  'Balthazar au hasard: table ronde', Cahiers du cinéma 180 (July), 32-35, 76-79. 

Lively debate among Jean-Louis Comolli, Michel Delahaye, André S. Labarthe, Jean Narboni, and François Weyergans on Au hasard, Balthazar: its place in film history, Bresson's theoretical ideas, and their relationship to this and other films.

321  Baroncelli, Jean de, 'Au festival de Cannes: hors festival: 'Au hasard, Balthazar'. Le Monde (17 May), 14. 

Positive review of the film, which is sometimes "obscure and difficult," though always its enigmatic presence touches us.

322  Benayoun, Robert, 'Cannes vingt: olé!', Positif 79 (October), 81-82. 

Attacks Bresson's audience as a passive minority who wish to turn the cinema into a "sort of non-Actor's Studio for neurasthenic zombies."

*323  Bory, Jean-Louis, 'Balthazar ou du braiement à la sonate', Art et Loisirs 36 (1-7 June). 

Cited in entry 557.

324  Brincourt, André, 'Pour le plaisir de Balthazar', Le Figaro (12 May), 17. 

Article complimenting Roger Stéphane's television show on Au hasard, Balthazar as a good educational use of the small screen. It aired on 11 May 1966.

325  Bureau, Patrick, 'Bresson o l'arte delle proporzioni (intervista)', Cinéma 59, 50-52. 

Translation of entry 326. Interview.

326  Bureau, Patrick, 'Bresson ou l'art des proportions', Les Lettres Françaises 1133 (26 May-1 June), 15-16.  

Statements by Bresson on improvisation, the wonders of the camera, the Bresson "look," sound, and writing dialogue. Translated into Italian: entry 325.

*327  Capelle, Anne, 'Robert Bresson ho visto improvisamente una testa d'asino riempire lo schermo', Cineforum 6, no. 56 (June), 425-28. 

Cited in entry 645. Interview.

328  Chapier, Henri e.a., 'Avec 'Au hasard, Balthazar', Robert Bresson donne au cinéma son premier film libre de toute influence', Combat (20 May), 11. 

Chapier introduces a page dedicated to Au hasard, Balthazar with a review of the film that emphasizes its important place in film history due to its pure and direct language and implicit critique of film structure. Following this are statements by Bresson, Godard, Marguerite Duras, Louis Malle, Mag Bodard (the producer), and Roger Stéphane that are extracted from a television show produced by Stéphane and broadcast in Paris on 11 May 1966.

329  Chapier, Henri, ''Au hasard, Balthazar' de Robert Bresson', Combat (26 May), 8. 

Chapier reviews the film again pointing out two levels of meaning: in the narrative and in the "rhythms of light and sound."

330  Charensol, Georges, 'Humiliés et offensés: 'Au hasard, Balthazar'', Les Nouvelles Littéraires 2021 (26 May), 14. 

Review that emphasizes the film as signaling a change in Bresson's work from the study of a single personality to the study of group relationships.

331  Chauvet, Louis, 'Les Films: 'Au hasard, Balthazar'', Le Figaro (27 May), 30. 

Negative review that argues that Bresson "erred" in constructing a conventional scenario. Chauvet finds the end affecting, but it is too little after so many bad people and not enough of the donkey.

332  Collet, Jean, 'Le Drôle de chemin de Bresson à Balthazar', Études 325 (July-August), 80-91. 

Collet responds here to criticism that Au hasard, Balthazar is a disconnected narrative and a thematic break for Bresson. He compares it to Monsieur Ouine and argues that Balthazar is a typical Bresson character, most importantly in his capacity to feel.

*333  Collet, Jean, 'Éloge de l'âne', Télérama 856 (12 June), 75. 

Cited in entry 645.

*334  Collet, Jean, [Review of 'Au hasard, Balthazar'], Signes du Temps (July-August). 

Cited in entry 347.

335  Durgnat, Raymond, 'Balthazar', Films and Filming 13, no. 3 (December),18, 51-52. 

Reviews Au hasard, Balthazar as a comment on all forms of feeling and a "perfect example of cinema of the absurd." Concludes that it's a "minor film" for Bresson, a "strange and compelling network of riddles."

336  Durgnat, Raymond, 'Diary of a Country Priest', Films and Filming 13, no. 3 (December), 28-32. 

A study of the film as a "dialectic of suicide and sacrifice"; also a plot outline, biographical information, production details, critical reactions, as well as Durgnat's reevaluation. Reprinted: entry 441.

337  Gilson, René, 'Mon Dieu me quitterez-vous', Cahiers du Cinéma 182 (September), 69-71. 

Translated into English: entry 387. See entry 387 for annotation.

338  Godard, Jean-Luc, and Delahaye, Michel, 'La Question: entretien avec Robert Bresson', Cahiers du Cinéma 178 (May), 26-35. 

Translated into English: entry 388. See entry 388 for annotation. Reprinted: entry 521.

339  Godard, Jean-Luc, and Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, 'I.e Testament de Balthazar', Cahiers du Cinéma 177 (April), 58-59. 

Translated into English: entry 340. See crntry 340 for annotation.

340  Godard, Jean-Luc, and Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, 'Testament of Balthazar', Cahiers du Cinéma in English 6 (December), 44-45. 

A series of philosophical statements comprising a meditation on Au hasard, Balthazar. P. Adams Sitney (entry 625) states that it is "a page of excerpts from Maurice Merleau-Ponty altered in part by Godard to refer directly to the film." Translation of entry 339.

341  Grafe, Frieda, 'Zum Beispiel Balthazar', Filmkritik 10, no. 7 (July), 393-395. 

Positive review of Au hasard, Balthazar: Not a "picturesque animal story," but a tale of "great differences and extremes."

342  Gresset, Michel, 'Le Mettre en ordre: Robert Bresson', La Nouvelle Revue Française 14, no. 163 (July), 168-169. 

Short account of a French television interview with Bresson conducted by Roger Stéphane, 11 May 1966.

343  Jacob, Gilles, 'Au hasard, Balthazar', Sight and Sound 36, no. 1 (Winter), 7-9. 

A dense catalog of themes, possible correlations, and impressions from the film: "Only Bresson can make us sense the ineffable, see the invisible, touch the intangible." Translation of entry 344.

344  Jacob, Gilles, ''Au hasard, Balthazar de Robert Bresson', Cinéma 66, no. 107 (June), 82-91. 

Translated into English: entry 343. See entry 343 for annotation.

345*  Klossowski, Pierre, [Article on Robert Bresson], Arts (8 June). 

Cited in entry 312. Klossowski is a novelist who played the part of the corn merchant in Au hasard, Balthazar.

346  Lachize, Samuel, 'Qui fait l'âne', L'Humanité (1 June), 8. 

Positive review of Au hasard, Balthazar, though Lachize is unable to agree with the extremely pessimistic ideas.

347  Maurice, René, 'De Lucifer à Balthazar en suivant Robert Bresson', Lumière et Vie 15, no. 78 (May-August), 31, 54. 

Study of Au hasard, Balthazar, as an illustration of the "struggle between God and the devil." Many biblical references and parallels are explored, including an analysis of Gérard as the devil and Balthazar as Christ.

348  Perl, Ilona, [Review of 'Au hasard, Balthazar'', Film (Velber) (July). 

Cited in entry 687.

349  Ripkins, Martin, 'Zum Beispiel Balthazar', Filmkritik 10, no. 7 (July), 396-397. 

Review of Au hasard, Balthazar, an alarmingly pessimistic work: "Death is the hope of the hopeless," and Au hasard, Balthazar is the epitome of this attitude.

350  Roud, Richard, 'Two (pre±re)views', Sight and Sound 35, no. 3 (Summer), 112-115. 

Lengthy synopsis and review of Au hasard, Balthazar: "Bresson has invented a new form of discourse . . . involving dialectics." Roud also elaborates on the sexual significance of the donkey.

351  Salachas, Gilbert, 'Au hasard, Balthazar', Téléciné 128 (May-June), 60-61. 

Review in the "a première vue" section, comrnented on by other critics; here, by Janick Arbois, Gilles Jacob, Alain Taleu, Pierre Loubière, Henri Lemaître, and Michel Haristoy.

352  Salachas, Gilbert, 'À propos de 'Au hasard, Balthazar': pour le plaisir d'écouter et de regarder Robert Bresson', Téléciné 131 (December), 3-10. 

Introduction and selections from the text of a television interview with Bresson conducted by Roger Stéphan. Salachas is particularly taken with Bresson's physical presence and attempts to describe his liveliness in the introduction. The interview itself consists of comments on Au hasard, Balthazar, its title, and its making.

353*  Schmidt, Dietmar, 'Review of 'Procès de Jeanne d'Arc'', Kirche und Film (June). 

Cited in entry 687.

354  Sémolué, Jean, 'L'Eminente dignité des humbles', Esprit (June), 1249-51. 

Review of Au hasard, Balthazar that describes it as a satirical film with a complex structure and clear intentions.

353  Sontag, Susan, 'Spiritual Style in the Films of Robert Bresson', in Against Interpretation, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 177-195. 

Develops an argument for Bresson as the "master of the reflective mode," a classical style that postpones emotional involvement by presenting form in an "emphatic way." Sontag delineates Bresson's formal means of creating detachment: the "doubling" of information, the "antidramatic, strongly linear" narrative, and the Brechtian acting. She then discusses the main theme of "confinement and liberty," and finally, Bresson's "anti-romantic and solemn" sensibility. Bresson, she concludes, creates works of great power that are not "just an assertion about the resources of the cinema . . . [but] an idea about life, about what Cocteau called 'inner style,' about the most serious way of being human." Reprint of entry 293.

356  'Testimonianze su Balthazar (Robert Bresson, Godard, Duras, Malle, François Reichenback, Roger Stéphane, Mag Bodard), Cineforum 56 (October), 516-19. 

Collection of statements from Stéphane's French television show of 11 May 1966 translated into Italian.

357  'Theorie und Praxis: Zum Selbstverstandnis des Films v. Robert Bresson', Filmkritik 10, no. 9 (September), 523-528. 

Collection of excerpts from interviews and press conferences with Bresson that illustrate his theories on filmmaking. Most are from French sources translated into German.

358*  Tilliette, Xavier, 'Au Hasard, Balthazar', Dokumente (Cologne) (July). 

Cited in entry 557.

359  Tournes, André, 'Au hasard, Balthazar', Jeune Cinéma 17 (September-October), 22-23 

Review that admires the formal beauty of the film, but is critical of the attempt at allegory and the unrelieved pessimism of the themes.

360  Truffaut, François, 'A Certain Tendency of the French Cinema', Cahiers du Cinéma in English 1 (January), 31-41. 

Truffaut's diatribe on the "tradition of quality" that dominated French cinema in the 1930s and 1940s, and its way of adapting literary works. Includes several references to Bresson as an "auteur" who adapts faithfully and cinematically, without the infusion of a false psychological realism that characterized the scripts of Jean Aurenche and Pierre Bost (the first adaptors of Journal d'un curé de campagne), Jacques Sigurd, and others. Translation of entry 93. Reprinted: entry 641.

361  Wuilleumier, Marie-Claire, 'Un Mauvais Rêve?', Esprit (June), 1251-54. 

In a review of Au hasard, Balthazar Wuilleumier discusses the film in terms of its absent center, Balthazar, who exists only as a symbolic parallel to Marie. She argues that Balthazar remains entirely inaccessible, and is not revealed to the soul as all of Bressons other main characters are. Reprinted: entry 487.



362  Cardinal, Marie, Cet-été-la: suivi en annexe du scénario de J.-L. Godard, Paris: Julliard, 185 pp.  

Journalistic account of Cardinal's experinces working with Bresson on Mouchette. She played the part of the mother and during the same period worked with Godard on Deux ou trois choses que je sais d'elle .The tone is very personal, having much to do with her being separated from her family, and a great deal of gossip is relayed. She delights in calling Bresson "Bob" behind his lack, but finds the experience increasingly draining. The final chapter is typically ambivalent: She becomes ill and demands (after much hesitation) that her part be completed. Bresson is very attentive; they finish in one day, and he drives her home, where she is more than happy to be. But Bresson's car breaks down, and he returns for help, whereupon Cardinal rushes to hide in the bedroom, where (because she is sick) she "belongs."


363*  Agel, Henri, 'Robert Bresson', in Les Grands Cinéastes que je propose , Paris: Editions du Cerf, 212-223. 

Cited in entry 625.

364*  Anon., 'Mouchette', Le Film Français (12 May). 

Cited in entry 417.

365  Arnault, Hubert, 'Apparence de Robert Bresson: entretien avec Jean Vimenet', Image et Son 210 (November), 57-72. 

Vimenet, a painter, played the part of Mathieu the gameskeeper in Mouchette. In this interview, he speaks of Bresson's sadistic treatment of the people on the set (he himself was made to endure icy water for hours while Bresson stood by warmly sweatered), and sympathetically tries to explain the director's actions as those of a man lost in creativity. He says he came near hatred for Bresson during the shooting and painted several portraits at that time, three of which are reproduced here.

366  Baby, Yvonne, 'Le Domaine de l'indicible', Le Monde (14 March), 24. 

In an interview, Bresson speaks of Mouchette, the Bernanos novel that it is taken from, and its relationship to Au hasard, Balthazar.

367  Baroncelli, Jean de, 'Le Cinéma: 'Mouchette' de Robert Bresson', Le Monde (14 March), 24. 

Positive review of this masterpiece, which is the "summit of a difficult journey."

368  Bazin, André, ''Le Journal d'un Curé de Campagne' and the Stylistics of Robert Bresson', in What is Cinema? (translated by Hugh Gray), Berkeley: University of California Press, 125-43. 

A famous essay, which translator Gray calls "the most perfectly wrought piece of film criticism" that he has ever read. It is a dense description of "the most paradoxical, maybe even the most complex [aesthetic principles] . . . ever manifest in a sound film." The first principle is one of "insidious fidelity" to the text; instead of developing images from the novel, Bresson avoids the "filmic" descriptions that are there and concentrates on the "literary" material. The second is more complex, an "interplay of literature and realism," whereby Bresson refuses to adapt dialogue (from the journal descriptions of conversations), insists that what dialogue there is not be interpreted, but spoken, and refuses the possibilities of psychological development. "Thus, this so-called badly acted film leaves us with the feeling of having seen a gallery of portraits whose expressions could not be other than they were." This last is really the core of the essay, a rare demonstration of what in Bresson criticism is generally presented as a truism: the revelation in the film of a "soul." Bazin calls it an "ontological conflict between two orders of events," the physical reality of the actor, and the "written reality" of the text; these two, "when confronted on the screen reveal their single common measure -- the soul." Translation of entry 44. Reprinted: entries 433, 689.

369  Benayoun, Robert, 'En trois personnes', Positif 85 (June), 49-52. 

Review of Mouchette. Benayoun praises the bumper-car scene ("when Bresson wants to, he knows the technique") and ridicules the rest as "ritual masturbation."

370  Bertin, Cella, 'Cinéma: une écriture avec des images et des sons', La Revue de Paris 74 (May), 139-141. 

Positive review of Mouchette though Bertin is critical of the heavy-handed metaphors.

371  Billard, Pierre, 'Cinema: un pur chef d'oeuvre sous 'Le Soleil de satan'', L'Express (13 March), 60-61. 

Positive review of Mouchette noting that the film is organized around the looks of the characters and describes Bresson's cinema as "a window wide open on the palpitating shadows of life."

372  Bory, Jean-Louis, 'De la misère au Magnificat', Le Nouvel Observateur (15 March):40-41. 

Bory is upset by Mouchette, this darkest, most pessimistic of Bresson's works, and argues that by his sensuality and cruelty, he separates himself from the less modern, but more sensitive Bernanos. Reprinted: enty 497.

373  Boussinot, Roger, 'Robert Bresson', in Encyclopédie du cinéma, Paris: Bordas, 134-135, 410-411, 834-835. 

Survey of Bresson's work that judges Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne to be the height of his career; aso an account of the two opposing French critical views, whch are resolved in a notion of Bresson as a particular "cloistered" case.

374  Cameron, Ian, 'Robert Bresson', in Interviews with Directors, Edited by Andrew Sarris, New York: Bobbs-Merill, 25-30. 

Reprint of entry 254.

375  Chapier, Henri, ''Mouchette' de Robert Bresson: Le couronnement d'une belle théorie du cinématographe', Combat (15 March), 8. 

Review that finds the film perfect and the rape scene the "poignant and despairing" center of the "scrupulous application" of a "brilliant theory."

376  Charensol, Georges, 'Signes: 'Mouchette', Les Nouvelles Littéraires 2063 (16 March), 14. 

Positive review. Charensol feels the "sordid reality" becomes almost "surreal" in Bresson's hands, producing a wholly different beauty from what the naturalistic images would indicate.

377  Ciment, Michel, 'Bibliographie', Positif 83 (April), 62-63. 

Essay review of Drouguet's Robert Bresson (entry 312), which is admired for its "fresh approach," having been written by a nonspecialist.

378*  Collet, Jean, 'Mouchette', Signes du Temps (May) 

Cited in entry 417.

379  Collet, Jean, 'Mouchette', Télérama (26 March). 

Cited in entry 417.

380  Dadoun, Roger, 'Bilan de Bresson', La Quinzaine Littéraire (15-30 April), 28. 

In a review of Mouchette, Dadoun deemphasizes the religious aspects of Bresson's work and concentrates on his "world oriented toward death." He brings good evidence to bear on the notion of Bresson as a "cinéaste of violence" with close ties to the ideas of Schopenhauer.

381  Denton, Clive, 'Au hasard, Balthazar', Take One 1, no. 5, 33. 

Positive review. Denton notes an "awareness of paradox" new to Bresson's work and pleads against "the probable neglect of an immeasurably fine and beautiful film."

382*  Estève, Michel, 'De Bernanos a Bresson', Cineforum 67 (September), 526-542. 

Cited in entry 645.

383  Estève, Michel, 'De Bernanos à Bresson', Esprit 360 (May), 925-29. 

Review of Mouchette comparing it to the Bernanos novel. Estève argues that Bresson's more modern adaptation, which deemphasizes the dialogue, leaves the supernatural and dream aspects of the novel for waste.

384*  Fennec, Claude, 'Mère sainte Bob', Arts-Loisirs (15 March). 

Cited in entry 417.

385  Gardies, René, 'Mouchette', Image et Son 207 (May), 145-47. 

Positive review of Bresson's "first truly dark film."

386  Gervais, Ginette, 'Mouchette', Jeune Cinéma 22 (April), 31-33. 

Review suggesting that this film was perhaps too easy for Bresson to make and hence reveals complacency in his feelings and degeneracy in his style. As such, it cannot approach the heartfelt sympathy of Bernanos's novel.

387  Gilson, René, 'My God, Wilt Thou Forsake Me?', Cahiers du Cinéma in English 11 (September), 54-56. 

In a review of Au hasard, Balthazar Gilson discusses Bresson's "no longer cultivated" sensibility. Bresson is "detached, lighter than air . . . a sum of refusals," and a "man of contention . . . who will never take up the sickle of a definitive message." And his film is "subtly unhealthy, as there is something unhealthy in all religiosity, whereby precisely it is fascinating." Translation of entry 337.

388  Godard, Jean-Luc and Delahaye, Michel, 'The Question: Interview with Robert Bresson', Cahiers du cinéma in English 8 (February), 5-27. 

In a long interview, Bresson compliments Godard and his films and speaks about people of talent, actors, and the complexity of character, why he does not go to see films, and Au hasard, Balthazar, "the freest film I've ever made." Translation of entry 338.

389  Gregor, Paul, 'Die Spirituelle Ästhetik Robert Bressons', Schweizer Rundschau 66, nos. 7-8 (July-August), 406-22. 

Long analysis of Bresson's films through Au hasard, Balthazar. Gregor argues that Bresson investigates the battle (which ends in redemption) between God and his fallen angels against a disordered and disquieting background. The analysis depends an various theological concepts that describe the characters as the "chosen ones, who are blessed with a "saving grace" and predestined to a tragic life. Also a gestalt-influenced discussion of Bresson's "practical art" and his evangelistic view of Christ and religion.

390  Jacob, Gilles, ''Mouchette': une étude du film de Robert Bresson', Cinéma 116 (May), 50-59. 

A listing of images and possible interpretations. Jacob suggests that the film is superior to the novel; in fact, very little of it was taken from the novel.

391  Johnson, William, 'Balthazar', Film Quarterly 20, no. 3 (Spring), 24-28. 

Describes Bresson's career as a series of ups (richness) and downs (rigor). Au hasard, Balthazar is a high point that fuses these extremes by having several main characters instead of one. Reprinted: entry 481.

392  Kotulla, Theodor, 'Mouchette', Filmkritik 11, no. 9 (September) , 512-14. 

Review of the "most paradoxical film Bresson has ever made"; by adding the bumper-car sequence to Bernanos's gloomy tale, Bresson expresses in the person of Mouchette both the desperation and joy of life.

393  Labarthe, André S., 'La Cybernétique de Robert Bresson', Cahiers du Cinéma 189 (April), 63-64. 

Review of Mouchette arguing that it is a film "done in the manner of Bresson," as if by a student in Bresson's absence. In place of synecdoche, we get naturalistic inserts; the film is not only naturalistic, but complacent in its persistent visual tautologies and the unrelieved misfortune that surrounds Mouchette. Labarthe concludes that it is more like Zola than the Bresson of Procès de Jeanne d'Arc.

394  Loubiere, Pierre, 'Mouchette', Téléciné 133 (February-March), 60. 

Positive review with comments by Henri Chapier, Pierre Billard, Jean-Louis Bary, Pierre Marcabru, and Georges Sadoul.

395*  Marcabru, Pierre, ''Mouchette': un étape de plus vers l'ascèse', Arts-Loisirs (15-21 March). 

Cited in entry 557.

396  Mortier, Michel, 'Mouchette', Téléciné 134 (August-September), 26-37. [Fiche no. 473.] 

Sections on the construction, montage, composition, sets, sound, and each character. Mortier emphasizes the universality and directness of the film, and suggests the presence of a wedding motif in the final death scene.

397  Murat, Napoleon, 'Bresson s'explique sur son nouveau film', Le Figaro Littéraire (16 March), 3. 

Interview on Mouchette that emphasizes Bresson's feelings about Bernanos, his interpretation of the novel, and his disagreements with Bernanos's ideas.

398  Nataf, Raphael, 'À l'écran: Balthazar et les autres', Français Dans le Monde 46 (January-February), 52. 

Positive review of Au hasard, Balthazar that interprets Balthazar as a symbol of human isolation, separated from others by his innocence and impotence.

  Nataf, Raphael, 'Mouchette', Français Dans le Monde 49 (June), 52-53. 

Positive review that suggests that Mouchette's misfortunes are of two kinds: the cruelty of the characters who surround her and the obsessive scrutiny of Bresson himself.

400  Pena, José, 'Au hasard, Balthazar', Téléciné 133 (February-March), 1-12. [Fiche filmographique. no. 468.] 

Synopsis and sections on the imagery, the découpage and montage, each of the characters, and the Christian theme. In particular, Pena illustrates the care taken in the making of the film.

401  Pezeril, Daniel, ''Mouchette' entre Bernanos et Bresson', Les Nouvelles Littéraires 2063 (16 March), 3. 

Mostly a discussion of Bernanos's two different Mouchettes: Sous le soleil de satan and Nouvelle histoire de Mouchette.

402  Rhode, Eric, 'Robert Bresson', in Tower of Babel: Speculations on the Cinema, New York: Chilton Books, 33-47. 

An overview of Bresson's career through Procès de Jeanne d'Arc. Rhode discusses it in terms of paradox and purification, Bresson's detailed documentation of the real, and his fascination with formalist constructions. He concludes that Bresson measures the present "against the highest intellectual and moral standards of tie 18th century," and therefore "works in a void."

403  Ripkins. Martin, 'Im Wettbewerb: 'Mouchette'', Filmkritik 11, no. 6 (June), 309. 

Positive review of this "simple" film, which refuses poeticization and theological implications.

404  Roulet, Sebastien. 'La Si Belle Éthique de Robert Bresson', Cahiers du Cinéma 189 (April), 64-65. 

Review of Mouchette that points to its looser construction as a new departure for Bresson. Roulet distinguishes two forms of gesture in the films and levels of meaning that accompany each.

405  Sadoul, Georges, 'Conversation plutôt qu'interview avec Robert Bresson sur 'Mouchette'', Les Lettres Françaises 1174 (16 March), 18-19. 

In an interview, Bresson comments on adaptations, sound, and his working methods.

406  Sadoul, Georges, 'Danse de mort', Les Lettres Françaises 1174 (16 March), l9-20. 

Review of Mouchette, which Sadoul values for its purity and considers to be a protest against violence and cruelty.

407*  Sémolué, Jean, ''Mouchette' l'evolusione di uno stile', Cineforum 67 (September), 513-25. 

Cited in entry 557.

408  Susini, Marie, 'Monsieur Bresson', Nouvel Observateur (15 March), 42-43. 

Susini, a novelist who played the gamekeeper's wife in Mouchette, describes here her "strange experience," Bresson's courtesy and condescension, and her awe of him.

409  Taylor, John Russell, 'Bresson Masterpiece Among New Paris Films', Times (London) (5 April), 10. 

Short review of Mouchette: "Quite simply, and without any shadow of a doubt, a masterpiece."

410  Tilliette, Xavier, 'Les Films: 'Mouchette' de Robert Bresson', Études (May), 663-665. 

Favorable review, primarily a comparison of Bernanos's Nouvelle Histoire de Mouchette and Bresson's films.

411*  Ungureit, Heinz, 'Ein Veränderer des Films', Frankfurter Rundschau (25 September) 

Cited in entry 687.

412*  Viscidi, Fiorenzo, 'Cinema e liberta', Cineforum 67 (September), 497-512. 

Cited in entry 625.




413  Abdelmoumen, Smihi, 'Entretien avec Robert Bresson', Image et Son 215 (January), 68-71. 

For a special issue on sound, an interview with Bresson on his use of it, including specifics on his method of gathering and rearranging sounds, as well as his use of music.

414  Chabot, Jacques, 'L'Accueil de la critique en 1937-1967', La Revue de Lettres Modernes 175-179, 109-180. [Études Bernanosiennes, no. 9.] 

Extensive, detailed essay on the French critical reactions to the book and the film. Chabot decries the "myths" of the naturalistic, old-fashioned Bernanos and the pure, modern Bresson. Discusses the attitude toward violence, the Catholicism, and the social conscience that drives each work.

415  Clurman, Harold, 'Films', Nation (7 October), 343. 

Positive review of Mouchette: "Every shot of the pic- ture is a simple and telling declarative sentence."

416  Estève, Michiel, 'De 'Nouvelle Histoire de Mouchette' à 'Mouchette' ou le passage du réalisme surnaturel au réalisme poétique', L'Esprit Créateur 8, no. 4 (Winter), 268-83. 

Lengthy analysis of the film and the novel, and the distinctly different tone that characterizes each.

417  Estève, Michiel ed., ''Nouvelle Histoire de Mouchette' de Bernanos à Bresson', La Revue de Lettres Modernes 175-179 [Études Bernanosiennes, no. 9.]. 

Special issue with three articles on Bernanos's novel and two on Bresson's film: "Bernanos and Bresson," by Pierrette Renard-Georges, and "L'accueil de la critique en 1937 et 1967," by Jacques Chabot. See entries 414, 422 for annotations.

418  Greenspun, Roger, 'Classic Cinema', Film Society Review 4, no. 2 (October), 23-28. 

Review of Mouchette Greenspun argues that the portrait of the girl is based too much on worldly, human concerns to "submit meaningfully to the elegant finality of her death," which is "perhaps more beautiful than any other sequence in Bresson's virtuoso cinema."

419  Michelson, Annette, 'Etc.', Commonweal (29 November), 318-19. 

Short but suggestive article on Bresson's style and the failure of our "literary culture" to accord it the understanding granted other poetic styles. "Bresson's films constitute an oeuvre all the more unique in that it commands, despite the steadily explicit intensification of the Christian theme, the kind of admiration which goes to the freshest and most deeply innovative art in a secular age."

420  Milne, Tom, 'Mouchette', Sight and Sound 37, no. 3 (Summer), 152-53. 

Review that describes the film as a "thinner experience" after the complexities of Au hasard, Balthazar. Mouchette and Marie, however, are said to mark a new kind of character for Bresson, one who is solitary not by choice, but by imposition. This in turn marks a "shifting of the emphasis from the malleability of the Christian soul to the implacable indifference of the Christian world."

421  Petrie, Graham, 'Mouchette', Film Quarterly 22, no. 1 (Fall), 52-56. 

Petrie points out the "rhythmic and visual bases" of the film that "act as a controlling counterbalance to the emotions contained in the material." He delineates a theory of interiorization through the nature and placement of Bresson's images, and argues that the film, in its refusal to sentimentalize, succeeds in being "deeply compassionate and moving."

422  Renard-Georges, Pierette, 'Bernanos et Bresson', La Revue de Lettres Modernes 175-179, 83-106. [Études Bernanosiennes, no. 9.] 

Detailed comparison of the novel and the film. Extensive quotes from the book illustrate Bresson's fidelity to its atmosphere and aesthetic, but the author feels that Bresson misses the depth of Bernanos's portrait of Mouchette by concentrating arbitrarily on the events and things that surround her.

423  Rhode, Eric, 'Mouchette', Listener (21 March), 10. 

Notes that Bressan has abandoned the guidelines of allegory and so made it impossible to know what Mouchette represents. Nonetheless, he "has managed to hew a neoclassical tragedy out of the lives of near cretins."



424  Cameron, Ian ed., The Films of Robert Bresson, London: Studio Vista, 127 pp. 

Collection of critical articles by Amedée Ayfre, Raymond Durgnat, Daniel Millar, Leo Murray, and Charles Barr. See separate entries for annotations. Also a filmography by Elizabeth Cameron. This first edition is lacking some of the material of the 1970 American edition (entry 464)


425  Amiel, Mirielle, 'Une Femme douce sans bruit ni fureur', Cinéma 69, no. 140 (November), 113-114. 

Review that describes the film as a product of the "perfect union of subject, author, and time." Though the film is markedly lacking in political trappings, it treats one of the major social questions of the sixties: "the impossibility of living for or with another when one cannot accept and live for oneself."

426  Anon., 'Bresson Talks About His First Film in Color', Cinema Canada (January-February). 

Statements from Bresson on color and from Ghislain Cloquet on working with Bresson.

427  Anon., 'Cinema: Festivals', Time (26 September), 95. 

Review of Une Femme douce that sees it as Bresson's most accessible film and the "best of the festival.

428  Audinet, Pierre, 'Cinéma: Bresson, Chabrol, Melville', La Revue de Paris 76 (November), 137-38. 

Review of Une Femme douce in which the author meditates on his lack of sympathy with the fixed notions of Bresson's cinema.

429  Ayfre, Amedée, 'The Universe of Robert Bresson', Translated by Elizabeth Kingsley-Rowe. In: The Films of Robert Bresson (Edited by Ian Cameron), London: Studio Vista, 6-24. 

Ayfre describes Bresson's universe as 'one of "unfailing unity," then discusses the various poles of Bresson's work: the balance of abstraction and reality achieved through the use of concrete detail; the shift between film from character to person, as Bresson increasingly leaves our knowledge of his characters short of a full portrayal; the movement from loneliness to communication, a process Bresson explores graphically through his use of space and time; and the movement from immanence to transcendence, which Bresson portrays through paradox, death, and the "inexpressiveness of faces." He concludes that "one cannot fail to be struck" by Bresson's youthfulness. "With an imperturbable disregard for the cinema around him . . . [he has] only to be himself to gain quite naturally a place in the vanguard of the New Wave." Translation of entry 129.

430  Barr, Charles, 'Au Hasard, Balthazar', in The Films of Robert Bresson (Edited by Ian Cameron), London: Studio Vista, 106-114. 

After an introduction disparaging the distortions of criticism that wrap a film up "too neatly," Barr inaccurately describes the film and interprets it at length. The essay attempts to unite the film through the concepts of will and responsibility, and eventually concludes that it is "profoundly ambivalent."

431  Barr, Charles, 'Mouchette', in The Films of Robert Bresson (Edited by Ian Cameron), London: Studio Vista, 115-23. 

Mouchette is described as a "dialectic between involvement in the world and withdrawal from it." For the majority of the essay, Barr compares the film positively to Journal d'un curé de campagne.

432  Baud, René-Claude, 'Panorama critique: Robert Bresson', in Cinéma et sa vérité. Edited by Amedée Ayfre. Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 208-13. 

This essay reviews Ayfre's criticism of Bresson in Dieu au cinéma (see entry 75) and elsewhere. Baud suggests that between Ayfre and Bresson there is a "spontaneous and total sympathy" that is expressed in their fascination with the questions of grace and free will.

433  Bazin , André, 'Le Journal d'un Curé de Campagne', in The Films of Robert Bresson. Edited by Ian Cameron. Translated by Hugh Gray. London: Studio Vista, 51-66. 

Reprint of entry 368.

434  Bory, Jean-Louis, 'Un bel iceberg', Le Nouvel Observateur (8 September), 42. 

Review of Une Femme douce in which Bory criticizes the plot contrivances surrounding the husband's ignoble past and claims that at least one of the scenes makes no sense because of Bresson's transposition from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. By scorning the psychological, he says, "Bresson condemns his characters to nonexistence." Reprinted: entry 541.

435  Braucourt, Guy, 'Robert Bresson: saisir l'insaissable', Les Lettres Françaises 1299 (10 September), 15. 

Part interview and part review of Une Femme douce; Bresson comments on the film, on suicide, on the themes of money and communication.

436  Burch, Noël, Praxis du cinéma, Paris: Gallimard. 

Translated into English: entry 542. See entry 542 for annotation.

437  Cameron, Ian, 'Robert Bresson', in Interviews with Directors. Edited by Andrew Sarris. New York: Avon, 46-50. 

Reprint of entry 254.

438  Capdenac, Michel, 'Une Sonate à deux voix', Les Lettres Françaises 1299 (10 September), 16. 

Review of Une Femme douce, a film that concretely portrays the abyss between any two people. Bresson is the only filmmaker to conceive and use an autonomous grammar, the only "musician of film."

439  Chevallier, Jacques, 'Une Femme douce', Image et Son 232 (November), 120-24. 

Positive review that emphasizes the economic relationship between the characters and the symbolic playing out of the plot -- the young innocent crushed by the orderly oppressive man.

440  Durgnat, Raymond, 'Les Anges du Péché', in The films of Robert Bresson. Edited by Ian Cameron. Londen: Studio Vista, 25-32. 

Durgnat discusses the film as part of Bresson's "nonhumanist" vision, and says that its atmosphere, its "sense of convent life," is its "strongest claim to greatness." He also places Bresson in the classical tradition that "excludes," and sketches in his place as a "pioneer of the anti-rhetoric and negativism of Godard, Antonioni, Warhol, and Dwoskin."

441  Durgnat, Raymond, 'Le 'Journal d'un Curé de Campagne'', in The films of Robert Bresson. Edited by Ian Cameron. Londen: Studio Vista, 42-50 

Slightly changed, but essentially the same essay as entry 336.

442  Estève, Michel, 'Choix des films: 'Une Femme douce' de Robert Bresson ou le silence du couple', Études (October), 406-408. 

Positive review of Bresson's "most direct film," which is a reflection on love in modern society. Estève particularly notes the "citations" that form part of the structure of the film.

443  Gervais, Ginette, 'Une Femme douce', Jeune Cinéma 41 (October), 35-36. 

Positive review of this "most Bressonian" of films, which refuses us the satisfaction of understanding, but nonetheless commands our attention at every "impeccable image."

444  Greene, Calvin, 'Ars Theological: Man and God at the New York Film Festival', Cinéaste 3, no. 2 (Fall), 6-10, 36. 

Reviews and a comparison of Une Femme douce and Ma nuit chez Maud as they fit into the Pascalian-Jansenist philosophical tradition. Greene speculates on the faith of the two main characters and concludes that grace is the alienating, isolating factor for all of Bresson's characters, which creates an "unconsolable vision."

445  Greenspun, Roger, 'Festival Presents Bresson's 'Une Femme Douce'', New York Times (18 September), 62. 

Positive review: "The usual language of critical praise seems beside the point in discussing Bresson's films."

446*  Martialy, Felix e.a., 'Conversacion con Robert Bresson', Film Ideal 214-215, 180-93. 

Cited in entry 645.

447  Mekas, Jonas, 'On Bresson and 'Une Femme Douce'', Village Voice (2 October), 46. 

Mekas's reflections upon seeing the film for the first time are more poetic than critical: "About flowers picked and never taken home . . . About bourgeois jealousy. About jealousy . . . . About two diagonal lives." Reprinted: entry 557.

448  Millar, Daniel, 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', in The Films of Robert Bresson. Edited by Ian Cameron. London: Studio Vista, 33-41. 

Discusses the film in relation to Bresson's other work and considers it an oddity in that respect. Millar makes specific comparison to the original Diderot story and pinpoints the additions and changes, particularly to the character of Agnès. Various camera and sound effects are listed, as well as Bresson's "expressive use of physical objects," but Millar comes to no conclusion, evidently feeling the film to be of an interim nature.

  Millar, Daniel, 'Fires Were Started', Sight and Sound 38, no. 2 (Spring), 100-104 

In a discussion of Humphrey Jenning's film Fires Were Started (1943), Millar finds similarities with Bresson's work: in their classical unity, purity in pursuit of that unity, and fascination with the coexistence of film as document and art.

450  Millar, Daniel, 'Pickpocket', in The Films of Robert Bresson. Edited by Ian Cameron. London: Studio Vista, 82-89. 

Discusses Pickpocket as atypical, a film quickly and simply made, with a "relatively straightforward basic pattern." Millar then switches to a view of it as the prototypical Bresson film in its extremely careful editing and easy balance of improvisation and rigor. This balance is especially evident in the virtuoso pickpocketing scenes shot in the streets of Paris.

451  Murray, Leo, 'Un Condamné à Mort s'est Échappé', in The Films of Robert Bresson. Edited by Ian Cameron. London: Studio Vista, 68-81. 

Factually inaccurate article that portrays the film as a celebration of the theological mystery of human free will. Murray analyzes the beginning sequence and sees the entire film as an elaboration of it.

452  Murray, Leo, 'Le Procès de Jeanne d'Arc', in The Films of Robert Bresson. Edited by Ian Cameron. London: Studio Vista, 90-105. 

Detailed essay in which Murray describes the formal elements that make up this "very musical film" and argues that fragmentation of time and space is an attempt to realistically present Jeanne's point of view, 'to make us see the voices."

453  Nahun, A. J., 'Conversazione con Bresson', Filmcritica 201, 311-313. 

Cited in entry 645. Interview.

454  Oudart, Jean-Pierre, 'Bresson et la vérité', Cahiers du Cinéma 216 (October), 53-56. 

A poetic essay that defies summary, but here are some hints of its richness: Oudart examines Bresson's attempt to create "a discourse totally transitive . . . the utopia of a unique meaning." In this, Bresson avoids words (other than someone else's) and acting, denouncing both as representation. But despite these precautions, he must always risk losing this carefully photographed "truth" during the editing (écriture). From this long and sketchy introduction, Oudart moves to a Freudian-inspired discussion of Une Femme douce, a film in which "it is obvious that, for Bresson, nothing has weight . . . . No more subjective images, intentional or not, and no more obsessive right angles . . . . Bresson is through with the eroticism of a point of view." He inscribes in this film "the death of meaning . . . the absence of Truth" that the telling of any fiction is: "Reading is to truth as desire is to love . . . . It is not the desire that is the problem for Bresson's characters, but love . . . . How can there be truth in their relationship, if in their communication, an Identity is not created by the signs exchanged?" The problem for Bresson is that the man "is looking for the difference, the absence, fascinated by lie, attached to his own jealousy"; while the woman is "looking for the presence, the Identity, the Truth" -- all, by Bresson's insistent conclusion, unavailable. Still, Bresson asks, how can representation be avoided? What must be inscribed in the film to ensure the truth? And thus, he marks this otherwise "anonymous film," and justifies this "fantastic obliteration, this editing that could not create anything."

455  Oudart, Jean-Pierre, 'La Suture', Cahiers du Cinéma 211 (April), 36-39; 212 (May), 50-55. 

Oudart is a formidably dense theorist, and Bresson has been a persistent inspiration to him (see index). Here, in a linguistics-based analysis of Bresson's style as demonstrated in Procès de Jeanne d'Arc, Oudart defines cinematic discourse as being traditionally sealed by the "suture," a binding of one shot to the next that represents "the relationship of the subject to the chain of his discourse." A suture is most perfect (seamless, after the Hollywood cinema) when the subject disappears ("ignores itself"), when the space of the "absent" (an "echo" of the framed space of the "present") is explained diegetically by a succeeding shot. By using repeated shot-reverse shots and an oblique angle of framing ("frankly admitted and used as a system") that results in the character's glance being imperfectly subtended, Bresson reserves, that is, never visibly defines -- part of the space of the absent. This space is reserved for the "imaginary subject of the discourse," and the suture is then able to reveal this "other" subject. In this way, Bresson is shown to be "without doubt the first cinéaste to not put the system [of the suture] . . . into practice (other than inopportunely) but to use it as a cinematographic principle."
  In part 2 of the essay, Oudart again defines the absent as a product of a "vacillating image whose elements successively hide each other," and its revelation is a "key moment which places the image in the order of the signifying and the cinema in the order of discourse." Oudart claims that the spectator's imagination plays most freely in those instants between the revelation of the absent and its replacement in the discourse by a reverse shot, and so criticizes Au hasard, Balthazar for its "discourse that does not cease to signify itself." The film thus becomes a "dead letter . . . its syntax emerging at every moment as the only signified of the film." Translated into English: entries 673, 717.

456*  Pflaum, Günther, [Review of 'The Trial of Joan of Arc'], Jugend Film Fernsehen 3. 

Cited in entry 687.

457  Roud, Richard, 'Memories of Resnais', Sight and Sound 38, no. 3 (Summer), 124. 

In an interview, Resnais comments on the meticulous soundtracks and poetic dialogue of Bresson's early films.

458  Sémolué, Jean, 'Doute et certitude: 'Une Femme douce', Esprit 11 (November), 714-716. 

The film is an overwhelming success for Sémolué; he claims that its depth of ideas, both visual and dramatic, is even more impressive than Au hasard, Balthazar.

459  Sémolué, Jean, 'Une Femme douce', Téléciné 157 (December), 7-18. [Fiche filmographique, no. 517.] 

Synopsis and critical sections on the adaptation from Dostoevsky; the theme of the city, its noise and complexity that reverberates in the plot structure; the theme of the apartment as a privileged place, refuge, and prison; the characters; and finally, the theme of incommunication.

460*  Skoller, Donald S., 'Praxis as a Cinematic Principle in Films by Robert Bresson', Cinema Journal 9, no. 1 (Fall), 13-22. 

Cited in entry 625.

461  Wagner, Jean, 'Une Femme douce', Téléciné 155 (August-September), 36-37. 

Short review of "the most classic" of Bresson's films; Wagner compares the heroine to Antigone and claims that Une Femme douce marks the point where Bresson's style "establishes itself as universal."

462  Wenders, Wim, 'Kritischer Kalendar: 'Mouchette'', Filmkritik 13, no. 12 (Decenber), 753. 

In an admiring review, Wenders hypothesizes that the "creator" of the photographic image would have been pleased to know that the invention is being used so "unfathomably well."

463  Zimmer, Christian, 'Cinéastes du verbe', Les Temps Modernes 279 (October), 569-574. 

Review of Une Femme douce, Bresson's "first non-Christian film." Zimmer argues that the characters never communicate, the unknown is never bridged, and the film is therefore unsatisfying because of its failure to fulfill in expected Bressonian terms.



464  Cameron, Ian ed., The Films of Robert Bresson. 2d ed. New York: Praeger, 145 pp. 

Second edition of entry 424. Includes two new articles: an interview by Ian Cameron and an essay by Phil Hardy. See entries 470, 477 for annotations.


465  Armes, Roy, 'Cinema: The Art of Robert Bresson', London Magazine 10, no. 7 (October), 77-80. 

Even-handed study of Bresson's work through Une Femme douce. Armes stresses the poetry of the films and the careful selection of "incidents from the flow of everyday life," through which Bresson, by his control of speech and gesture, conveys the oppressiveness of life. He also argues that the collaboration with each successive photographer has signaled a major change in style for Bresson.

466  Armes, Roy, French Film. London: Studio Vista, pp. 89-92. 

Short wrap-up of Bresson's career.

467  Armes, Roy, 'Robert Bresson', in French Cinema Since 1946. Vol. 1, The Great Tradition, London: Zwemmer, 128-45. 

An introduction to Bresson's work as a whole, with a good description of his style, mostly in quotes that have been taken from interviews with Bresson. Armes claims that Bresson is "interested in the spiritual and emotional aftermath of violent and startling events." Reprinted: entry 688.

468  Atwell, Lee, 'Une Femme Douce', Film Quarterly 23, no. 4 (Summer), 54-56. 

Atwell argues that the film is not a typical example of the Bressonian universe because Bresson has "eliminated any spiritual or religious context." He approves of Bresson's moving "into a freer and more relaxed style" and concludes that his work continues to be a "vision of the invisible."

469*  Baxter, Brian, 'Une Femme Douce', Film (London) 57, 19. 

Cited in entry 625.

470  Cameron, Ian, 'Appendix: Interview', in The Films of Robert Bresson 2d ed. Edited by Ian Cameron. New York: Praeger, pp. 134-37. 

Reprint of entry 254.

471  Chin, Daryl, 'The Films of Robert Bresson', Program notes. New York: Museum of Modern Art. 

Notes for a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, 29 January-9 February 1970. Short articles on each of the films through Une Femme douc. Chin sees Bresson's work as a "supreme example of Christian tragedy."

472*  Farcier, Jean-Paul, 'Une Femme douce', . Cinéthique 6 (January-February). 

Cited in entry 644.

473  Fogliehi, Mario, 'A proposito di stesso . . . ', Revista del Cinematografa 6, 283-284. 

Cited in Film Periodical Index 1970

474  Gow, Gordon, 'A Gentle Creature', Films and Filrning 17, no. 3 (December), 45-50. 

Negative review of Une Femme douce, though Cow is impressed with the cinematography. The main character, however, "appears to develop all the symptoms of a thorough going bitch," and the scene from Hamlet is "too crude a put-down of the antithesis of [Bresson's] . . . own spare style."

475  Greenspun, Roger, 'The Screen: 'Au Hasard, Balthazar'', New York Times (20 February), 31. 

Greenspun sees the film as differing from other Bresson works "in the degree to which it accepts and sustains a multiplicity of actions, objects, and . . . characters." Though it "proceeds by contraries," Balthazar is "Bresson's most appealing hero," and the film is the "only essential moviegoing in New York."

476  Greenspun, Roger, 'Screen: Bresson's 'Mouchette' Opens', New York Times (13 March), 29. 

Review describing Mouchette as "most human heroine" and her death so beautiful as to suggest "a theatricalism of the spirit." But the film "falls into curious melodramatics," and "the ending has too narrow an emotional base."

477  Hardy, Phil, 'Une Femme Douce', in The Films of Robert Bresson. 2d ed.. Edited by Ian Cameron. New York: Praeger 127-33. 

An interpretation of the film based on liberation and death, freedom and privacy, and contemplation: "In Bresson, details are not signifiers, but rather containers of meaning, and so constructed that the meaning and its container are inseparable."

478  Haskell, Molly, 'Film: 'Mouchette'', Village Voice (19 March), 59-60. 

Praises Mouchette for its vivid detail and criticizes its failure to present Mouchette's softer, more appealing side. Unfortunately, the criticism is based on a scene noted in error; Mouchette does, in fact, sing at Arsine's side in the film, just as she does in the book.

479  Hurley, Neil P., Theology Through Film, New York: Harper & Row, 58-59, 138-40. 

Uses the main characters of Pickpocket and Journal d'un curé de campagne to illustrate the presence of moral and religious themes in the cinema. Includes inaccurate quotations and synopses.

480*  Joannides, Paul, [Review of 'Une Femme douce'], Monthly Film Bulletin 442 (November). 

Cited in entry 687.

481  Johnson, William, 'Balthazar', in Renaissance of the Film. Edited by Julius Bellone. New York: Collier, 32-40. 

Reprint of entry 391.

482*  Krusche, Dieter, Robert Bresson, Köln: Katholische Film- und Fernsehliga, 12 pp. 

Cited in entry 687.

483  Leroy, Jean, ''Une Femme douce': les parodoxes de Bresson', Amis du Film et de la Télévision 165 (February), 8-9. 

Positive review that discusses the themes of communication and marriage, and Bresson's dry style in general, which is ameliorated in this film by the use of color.

484  Morgenstern, Joseph, 'Donkey Serenade', Newsweek (16 March), 101-102. 

Negative review of Au hasard, Balthazar: Bresson's movie is a "religious statement, not an entertainment . . . [but] the most striking thing about it, after its outward reverence for life, is its inward lifelessness."

485  Rhode, Eric, 'Dostoevsky and Bresson', Sight and Sound 39, no. 2 (Spring), 82-83. 

Rhode gives the literary background and then compares Dostoevsky's story "A Gentle Creature" to the film, which he finds somewhat implausible in the transpostion. About the woman he says, "It is a fact of life, worth Bresson's continual attention, that some people are scategoats willing to bear the mental pain of others."

486  Ropars-Wuilleumier, Marie-Claire, 'L'Apport de Bresson: la parole dans la parole', in De la littérature au cinéma: genèse d'une écriture, Paris: Armand Colin, 96-104. 

Summary of Bresson's career emphasizing the increasingly streamlined narratives, the quick editing, and the "disappearance of word and image." The author argues that those films written from an original story by Bresson are paradoxically more literary and derivative than the adaptations.

487  Ropars-Wuilleumier, Marie-Claire, 'Un Mauvais Rêve?', in L'écran de la mémoire: essais, de lecture cinématographique, Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 178-181. 

Reprint of entry 361.

488  Sarris, Andrew, 'Films in Focus', in Village Voice (19 Febru ary), 55, 60. 

Review of Au hasard, Balthazar: "plucks out the roots of existence and presents us with a very morbidly beautiful flower of cinematic art. Bresson's vision of life and his cinematic style may seem to be bleak . . . . Yet, no film I have ever seen has come so close to convulsing my entire being as Au Hasard, Balthazar . . . It stands by itself as one of the loftiest pinnacles of artistically realized emotional experiences." Reprinted: entry 552.

489  Sarris, Andrew, 'The Trial of Joan of Arc' and 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', in Confessions of a Cultist, New York: Simon & Schuster, 133-135, 193-195.  

Reprints of entries 292, 310

490*  Strobel, Hans, [Review of 'Mouchette], Jugend Film Fernsehen 1. 

Cited in entry 687

491  Torok, Jean-Paul, 'Une Femme douce', Positif 112 (January), 71. 

Negative review of the film, which merely gives evidence of Bresson's continuing mental deterioration.


492*  Ahrne, Marianne, 'Bresson och Une Femme douce', Chaplin 107, 119-120  

493*  Amery, Jean, 'Robert Bresson und der Antifilm', Neue Zürcher Zeitung (4 September). 

Cited in entry 687

494  Anon., 'BFI Award, 1971', Sight and Sound 41, no. 2 (Spring), 69. 

Announcement of an annual award given to Bresson for Quatre nuits d'un r�êveur. "A conservative choice perhaps, made partly in recognition of Bresson's work as a whole."

495  Anon., 'Par le biais d'un ami', Le Monde (11 November), 13. 

Short article on Pierre Charbonnier (Bresson's art director off and on since 1934); mostly points out that Charbonnier rarely speaks of Bresson.

496  Baby, Yvonne, 'L'Art n'est pas une luxe mais un besoin vitae', Le Monde (11 November), 13. 

Bresson speaks about Quatre nuits d'un rêveur and Dostoevsky. Also comments on why he bases films on literary works, on art in contemporary society, on being a pessimist, and on his education.

497  Bory, Jean-Louis, 'De la misère au magnificat', in La Nuit complice: Cinéma II, Paris: L'Union Général d'Éditions, 98-102. 

Reprint of entry 372.

498  Bory, Jean-Louis, 'Pour ou contre Bresson: Le Procès de Jeanne d'Arc, Au hasard Balthazar', in Des yeux pour voir: Cinéma 1, Paris, L'Union Générale d'Éditions, 79-89 

Insightful descriptions of both these films: Procès de Jeanne d'Arc is too dry and cold; but Au Hasard, Balthazar is the height of Bresson's achievement, a flower that "blooms wondrously" on the dribbles of water that Bresson feeds it.

499  Clarens, Carlos, 'Four Nights of a Dreamer', Sight and Sound 41, no. 1 (Winter), 2-4. 

Discusses the film as a "simple rendering," and Bresson's cinema as "gestural" and "erotic." Procès de Jeanne d'Arc "summed up and defined" Bresson's style, which has since declined.

500*  Covi, Antonio, Dibattiti di film: Fellini, Bergman, Antonioni, Buñuel, Pasolini, Kazan, Visconti, Bresson, Padove: Gregoriana Editice. 

Cited in the Catalog of the Book Library of the British Film Institute.

501*  Fuller, Steven, 'Une Femme Douce: Death, Freedom, and Robert Bresson', Changes (15 July), 10-11 

Cited in entry 625.

502  Gilliatt, Penelope, 'The Current Cinema: Bresson.', New Yorker (29 May), 79-81. 

Gilliatt hints at a feminist and even antimale strain in Une Femme douce, describing it and all Bresson 's work as "reflections on escape from states of being buried alive."

503  Greenspun, Roger, 'Film Festival: Romantic; Four Nights of a Dreamer Bows at Beaumont', New York Times (9 October), 20. 

Review: "The intense covert eroticism of the earlier films . ... is here overt and even lyrically sustained. ... Whole scenes have an emotional complexity to match their deep refreshing cinematic purity."

504  Hartung, Philip T., 'The Screen: The Ignored Bresson', Commonweal (20 August), 428. 

Positive review of Une Femme douce, which more accurately comprises a plea for attention to work as a whole, rather than a discussion of the film. Reprinted: entry 525.

505  Haskell, Molly, 'Bresson Deadpans Dostoevsky', Village Voice (4 November), 65. 

Review of Quatre nuits d'un rêveur, a dead end for Bresson, full of new images of the modern world that are too vaguely treated.

506  Hatch, Robert, 'Films', Nation (21 June), 796. 

Review of Une Femme douce arguing that the transposition from nineteenth-century Russia to twentieth-century Paris, despite Bresson's "visual grip on the story," cannot be made to work.

507  Kauffmann, Stanley, 'Une Femme Douce', New Republic (26 June), 428. 

Review concluding that the film has a "missing" center; it provides plenty of atmosphere, but the dramatic conflict is too thin. Reprinted: entry 617.

508  Oudart, Jean-Pierre, 'Un Discours en défaut', Cahiers du Cinéma 232 (October), 4-12. 

An analysis of the classic Hollywood cinema and the contemporary European cinema represented by the Bressonian model. The two types of film -- the first involving the dramatic resolution of an antagonistic situation, the second involving the impossible-to-resolve situation of an alienated innocent -- are contrasted in terms of the characters' positioning in the frame relative to each other and to the frame itself. The (positive) ideological effects of the latter are produced by the main character's "signifying in excess" of the fictional requirements and her corresponding "lack" relative to the other characters. This signifying, augmented by Bresson's emphasis on "the look" of the character and his "anchoring" of metaphysical connotations in the image, leads to the "refutation of the 'object position' and constitutes the finality of the Bresson fiction.' Translated into English: entry 717.

509  Prokosch, Mike, 'Bresson's Stylistics Revisited.', Film Quarterly 25, no. 2 (Winter), 30-32. 

Prokosch defines a materialist analysis and then attempts to show that Bresson's films, particularly Au hasard. Balthazar, emerge favorably from such an analysis because Bresson refuses to encourage the spectator's inclination to relate to the characters, and he presents events as "equivalent emotionally" without dramatic emphasis or ordering. With this comes a "new mode of understanding."

510  Rosenbaum, Jonathan, 'Working with Bresson: Two Nights of an Extra', Village Voice (29 April), 76, 86. 

Account of two evenings on the set of Quatre nuits d'un rêveur.

511  Samuels, Charles, 'Bresson's Gentleness', American Scholar 40, no. 2 (Spring), 309-315. 

Review of Une Femme douce that discusses it primarily as a character study: "Dostoevsky attributes the distance [between people] . . . to fundamental human perversity; Bresson links it to a world without spiritual force." Reprinted: entry 679.

512  Sémolué, Jean, 'Quatre nuits d'un rêveur', Téléciné 173 (October-November), 7-14. [Fiche filmographique, no. 552.] 

Discusses at length the Paris setting and amosphere of the film, the overall effect of which is a superficial and unintegrated film. Sémolué suggests Bresson is presenting the world less rigorously and becoming more filmic, but paradoxically, still exhibiting the same narrow range. He also points out the strangeness of the ending, which is without the finality of virtually all Bresson's other films.

513  Zeman, Marvin, 'The Suicide of Robert Bresson', Cinema (Beverly Hills) 6, no. 3 (Spring), 37-42. 

Article that argues that Bresson himself, by virtue of the evidence of his work as a whole, is heading toward suicide. Zeman claims that Bresson is obsessed with the question of whether or not suicide is religiously acceptable.

514  Zimmerman, Paul, D., 'Escape from Marriage', Newsweek (7 June), 106. 

Review of Une Femme douce: It "makes no concessions to the audience's appetite for alleviating humor or accelerated action [but] . . . rewards our forebearance with beauty, intelligence, and the high seriousness of a true artist."




515  Amiel, Mireille, 'Quatre nuits d'un rêveur', Cinéma 72, no. 164, 122-23. 

This film is in "perfect correspondence to the Dostoevsky novella . . . . In its refusal of the tragic, this beautiful and smooth film has a sorrowful resonance and reaffirms Bresson's importance in French cinema."

516  Clouzot, Claire, Le Cinéma français depuis la nouvelle vague, France: Éditions Fernand Nathan, Alliance Française, 123-39. 

Even treatment of Bresson's later films, which Clouzot claims are "fixed" in the style of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé. At the core of them is the "correspondence between realism and abstraction, between body and soul," but Clouzot agrees with those who feel that the presentation of these correspondences only confuses further an already muddled critique of modern society.

517  Collet, Jean, 'Choix de films: 'Quatre nuits d'un rêveur', Études (March), 429-31. 

Collet is struck by the many uncharacteristically pleasing elements of the film and sees it as a definite break in the traditional view of Bresson as a "haughty stranger to the anxieties and hopes of our time; here, he is engaged with a less serious, even charming, neurosis."

518*  Daniels, Henry, 'Menschen in Schatten', Filmreport 16-17 (1 September). 

Cited in entry 687.

519  Dunoyer, Jean-Marie, 'Les Nuits bleus', Le Monde (3 February), 11. 

Positive review of the romantic, but ordinary Quatre nuits d'un rêveur.

520  Ebert, Jürgen, 'Vier Nächte eines Träumers', Filmkritik 16, no. 2 (February), 98-102. 

Positive review of Quatre nuits d'un rêveur, which Ebert finds "too precious" for the "children of Marx and Coca-Cola." The film is generally discussed as another attempt by Bresson to mark "the end of the cinema" and 'the future of cinematography."

521  Godard, Jean-Luc and Delahaye, Michel, 'Entretien avec Robert Bresson', in La Politique des auteurs, Paris: Champ Libre, 269-316. 

Reprint of entry 338. See entry 388 for anntation.

522  Greenspun, Roger, 'It's about Sexual Awakening, but Don't Expect 'Summer of '42'', New York Times (26 November; sect. 2), 9. 

Review of Quatre nuits d'un rêveur: "Unique, not for its greater severity and difficulty, but for its opulence, its lyricism, its openness to ordinary ways of feeling and behaving."

523*  Grisolia, Michel, 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', Dossiers du Cinéma, Films 2, 57-60. 

Cited in Dossiers du Cinéma table.

524  Guiguet, Jean-Claude, 'Quatre nuits d'un rêveur', Image et Son, 260 (April), 120-124. 

Positive review emphasizing the change in tone that this film represents for Bresson. Guiguet discusses in detail the film-within- a-film sequence, the visit of Jacques's pompous artist friend, and the rich string of theoretical notions that each brings to the film.

525  Hartung, Philip T., ''Une Femme Douce', The Ignored', in Film 71/72. Edited by David Denby. New York: Simon & Schuster, 141-43. 

Reprint of entry 504.

526*  Knudsen, M and Braad Thomson, C., 'Bresson's Isolation', Kosmorama 18, no. 107 (February), 109-112. 

Cited in International Index to Film Periodicals 1972. Interview.

527  Mekas, Jonas, 'On Bresson and 'Une Femme Douce'', in Movie Journal, New York: Collier, 357-58. 

Reprint of entry 447.

528  Oudart, Jean-Pierre, 'L'Idéologie moderniste dans quelques films récents (3): le hors champ de l'auteur ('Quatre nuits d'un rêveur'), Cahiers du Cinéma, 236-237 (March-April), 86-89. 

A tour de force of analysis that should be read in full. Quatre nuits d'un rêveur is described as the usual intrigue: a "hysterical erotic relationship" presented in Bresson's own particular and monied context. To Oudart, it is an exceptionally weak "idealist transcription of internal contradictions, a film so completely devoid of the ideological effects" of Bresson's previous films that it neutralizes their value. Bresson's desire has been "foreclosed"; he confuses the shooting space with a real space presented "live" that is supposed to reflect the contradictions of contemporary society. This inscription of a real social practice is "the last resort of idealist cinema to give itself a seeming political position." Oudart then goes on to an extensive discussion of the "Sadian rapport" between Bresson and his actresses and actors. This rapport is "the inhibition of the Bressonian fiction," and its denegation results in a "castrated lover . . . ; Bresson suppresses himself as master by showing himself in the intrigue as only undesired." And his refusal to face this inhibition places him "in a film practice that is culturally marginal and deficient -- worth no more than the fetishized track of the author hanging around Parisian decors." [See also entries 622 and 674]

529  Samuels, Charles Thomas, 'Robert Bresson', in Encountering Directors, New York: Capricorn Books, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 57-76. 

Interview that focuses particularly on Bresson's methods of directing actors, including a direct question about his "closed off manner on the set." Also comments on psychologists and the use of psychology, on exercise "for its own sake," on nudity, and the difference between eye and ear.

530  Schrader, Paul, 'Bresson', in Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer, Berkeley: University of California Press, 57-108. 

A study of Bresson's work as it exemplifies "the transcendental style in the West." Schrader discusses Bresson's different brand of realism based on the "everyday" in image and sound, and his avoidance of plot, acting, moving camera, and so forth. "Disparity" is posited as the key to transcendental style, and Bresson provokes it through doubling (a formalism) and by alienating the main character from the environment. All this is capped by a "decisive action" of the character (after Sémolué's "decisive moment), a "transformation" in the spectator, and a final period of "stasis." Other sections are on the prison methphor (as shaped by theological tradition) and the influence of scholasticism and Byzantine iconography.

531  Seguin, Louis, 'La Ligne droit de Robert Bresson', La Quinzaine Littéraire (l-15 February), 25-26 

Review of Quatre nuits d'un rêveur contrasting it with Visconti's version of the same story. Seguin argues that Bresson, by his use of minimalist imagery and metonymy, reduces coherent reality to a contradiction. Bresson "burns the bridges" of accumulated culture, but replaces it with "nothing."

532  Sémolué, Jean, ''Quatre nuits d'un rêveur' ou la dixième affirmation d'un cinéaste', Esprit 4-5 (April-May), 846-49. 

Points out the extremely simple and clear construction of the film; though not at all like Bresson's other films in its worldview, it is one of the most Bressonian in its "calm unfolding."

533*  Svensson, Arne, 'Samtel med Bresson', Filmrutan 1, 11-15. 

Cited in entry 645. Interview.

534*  Turroni, Giuseppe, 'Une Femme douce', Filmcritica 23 (February), 107-108. 

Cited in entry 645.

535  Zinner, Christian, 'De glace et de feu', Les Termps Modernes 309 (April), l725-27. 

Review of Quatre nuits d'un rêveur discussing it in terms of politics and semiotics, and Bresson's paradoxical scorn for verisimilitude: "Bourgeois cinema in rupture with the bourgeois aesthetic -- solitary cinema." The film is a search for rhythms and values that do not uncover or signify character or story, but give back to the film its own finality as an object to be regarded, "in sum, the opposite of spectacle."

536  Zimmerman, Paul, 'Evenings in Paris', Newsweek (4 December), 110. 

Review of Quatre nuits d'un rêveur that is particularly appreciative of the jokes. "A small jewel . . . which is not about anything. It deals with the illusions of youth, the limits of idealism, the ironies of the mating game and the resilience of the young."




537*  Anon., 'Les Anges du péché', Cahiers de la Cinématheque 8 (Winter), 48. 

Cited in entry 557.

538*  Ayfre, Amedée, 'L'universo di Robert Bresson', Cineschedario 65-72 (May-December), 14-18. 

Cited in Film Literature Index, 1973.

539  Baumbach, Jonathan, 'Medium and Message: 'Four Nights of a Dreamer'', Partisan Review 40, no. 3, 449-451. 

Review that sees the film as a "meta-cinematic fable" and a comedy. "It is as if Bresson's influence on Godard had filtered back to him in a kind of circular pollination."

540*  Bongioanni, M., 'Robert Bresson: dalla non-violenza alla grazia', Cineschedario 65-72 (May-December), 19-26. 

Cited in Film Literature Index, 1972.

541  Bory, Jean-Louis, 'Un Bel Iceberg', in Ombré vive, Paris: Union Générale d'Éditions, 123-26. 

Reprint of entry 434.

542  Burch, Noël, Theory of Film Practice. Translated by Helen R. Lane. New York: Praeger. 

Bresson is only periodically mentioned here, but always as an innovator and prime practitioner of the kind of cinema that Burch espouses. Almost every chapter is a discussion of some formal concern, of which Bresson ("above all") has sensed the value: the relationship of screen and off-screen space, the structural use of fades and dissolves, the relationship of sharp and soft focus, the problem of duration, and the structural use of sound. Translation of entry 436.

543  Campbell, Russell and Hunter, Gretchen, 'Beast of Burden: Bresson's Balthazar', Velvet Light Trap 9 (Summer), 19-22. 

A well-supported socioeconomic analysis of Au hasard, Balthazar that begins by comparing the film to more traditional cinematic portrayals of French rural life. The feminist as well as economic themes of the film are explored, but the authors conclude that because "the possibility of revolutionary social transformation remains outside Bresson's vision," such anticapitalist sentiments lead only to the "nihilistic endorsement of selfdestruction" that can be seen in the later films.

544*  Chiarini, L., 'Contrario al bello', Cineschedario 65-72 (May-December), 71-78. 

Cited in Film Literature Index 1973.

545  Elley, Derek, 'Robert Bresson', in International Film Guide. Edited by Peter Cowie. New York: A. S. Barnes, 29-35. 

Wrap-up of Bresson's career that emphasizes the theme of fatalism.

546  Fogliehi, Mario, 'A proposito di se stesso; dichiarazioni di Robert Bresson', Cineschedario 65-72 (May-December), 10-14. 

Cited in Film Literature Index 1973.

547  Hayman, Ronald, 'Robert Bresson in Conversation', Transatlantic Review 46-47 (Summer), 16-23. 

Bresson speaks relatively freely and at lenght here; he relates anecdotes from the set, comments on his religious beliefs, and declares that he stopped painting because he was "too nervous."

548  Mettey, Marcel, 'Au hasard, Balthazar', Image et Son 269, 15-29. 

Synopsis, production details, long section of character analyses, section of quotes from Bresson on the origin of the film and on his conception of it, thematic and visual analysis, and questions for discussion.

549*  Murray, L.A., 'Bresson: dall'unita tematica al senso del teological', Cineschedario 65-72 (May-December), 45-70. 

Cited in Film Literature Index 1973.

550*  Nahun, A. J., 'La spontaneita che io cerco', Cineschedario 65-72 (May-December), 14-18. 

Cited in Film Literature Index, 1973.

551*  Peruzzi, G., 'Quattro notti di un sognatore', Cinema Nuovo 22 (May-June), 207-208. 

Cited in Film Literature Index, 1973.

552  Sarris, Andrew, 'Au Hasard, Balthazar', in The Primal Screen, New York: Simon & Schuster, 157-60. 

Reprint of entry 488.

553  Thévenon, Patrick, 'Bresson: sur la piste du graal', L'Express (13 August), 44-46. 

Interview with Bresson and report from the set of Lancelot du Lac. Comments about the film, modern art, and the modern church.

554*  Vian, Walter, 'Er wählt seine Darsteller am Telefon', Zoom Filmberater 10 (17 May). 

Cited in entry 687.

555  Willincham, David, 'Au Hasard, Bresson', Movietone News 22 (April), 1-7. 

General study of Bresson's work and review of Quatre nuits d'un rêveur that focuses on the differences between Bresson's "geometric" narrative style and more traditionally composed film narratives.

556  Winston, Douglas Garrett, 'Diary of a Country Priest: Robert Bresson and the Literary Adaptation', in The Screenplay as Literature, London: Tantivy Press, 87-95. 

Derivative discussion of Bresson's method of adaptation.



557  Estève, Michel, Robert Bresson. 2d ed. Paris: Édition Seghers, 191 pp. 

Second edition of entry 213. Most of the chapters have been rewritten to include examples from the later films and much of the support material (e.g., extracts from the découpages) has been dropped. Estève adds a fourth "cycle" to describe Bresson's work beginning with Mouchette, which is marked by a rejection of all dialogue and the clear supremacy of image over word. His critical attitude, which emphasizes a distinction between literary and nonliterary elements, remains the same. Along with the four "cycles" that follow chronologically, Estève discusses the "Bernanos cycle" and the "Dostoevski cycle." There are two new chapters -- on Au hasard, Balthazar which is discussed in terms of its Dostoevskian emphasis on animals as innocent victims, and its depiction of a world deprived of "sense" and overwhelmed by evil; and on Lancelot du Lac which is discussed in terms of the prison theme and its "aesthetic of passion that plays cold formalism against Lancelot and Guinevere's ill-fated love.
Includes a long section of excerpted criticism, part of the découpage from Pickpocket, a filmography, and a bibliography.


558  Amengual, Barthélemy and Grisolia, Michel, 'Robert Bresson', Dossiers du Cinéma, Cinéastes 3 9-15. 

Two opposing viewpoints of Bresson's career. Amengual describes the films as a "game of oppositions and structural contradictions," and Bresson's recourse to the voice-off as "the central pivot of the Copernican revolution imposed by Bresson on the modern cinema."
  Grisolla finds Bresson the curious object ot a "strange cult. Like God the Father." He feels his "obsessive purity" has led only to snobbery and affectation. "It is the doorknobs which are expressive, significant., and completely new. Not the actors, even less, the story."

559  Anon., 'Bresson: 'Lancelot du Lac' repêché en dernière minute', L'Express (13 May), 48. 

Report of the last-minute selection of the film for showing at Cannes, after several people protested.

560  Anon., 'Cannes encore', Écran 27 (July), 87. 

Report of Bresson's complaint that the Cannes Festival is a commercial mediocrity, with only one advantage for the filmmaker -- the fees that are paid.

561  Anon., 'Lancelot vu par Robert Bresson', Le Monde (26 September), 1. 

Editorial portrait of Bresson and a scolding of the Cannes selection committee for ignoring Lancelot du Lac.

562*  Anon., 'Lancillote e Ginevra di Robert Bresson', Cinema Nuovo 23 (September-October), 368-69. 

Cited in Film Literature Index, 1974. Photo essay.

563*  Arbois, Janick, 'Lancelot du Lac', Télérama (26 September). 

Cited in entry 604.

564  Baby, Yvonne, 'Du fer qui fait du bruit', Le Monde (26 September), 15. 

Interview with Bresson on Lancelot du Lac; includes statements on why he wanted to film it and how he views the myth.

565  Badder, David, 'Robert Bresson', Film Dope 5 (July), 17-18. 

Wrap-up of Bresson's career through Lancelot du Lac that bemoans the growing antipathy toward his work since Au hasard, Balthazar. Includes a filmography and a listing of two television films about Bresson, one French, one German.

566  Baroncelli, Jean de, ''Lancelot du Lac' de Robert Bresson', Le Monde (26 Septenber), 15. 

Rave review of this "most Bressonian" of works, which is "distinguished not by its style, but by its essence."

567  Barron, Fred, 'Robert Bresson's 'Lancelot of the Lake': That Hollow Ring', Take One 4, no. 7, 34. 

Ambiguous review of this "unqualified masterpiece" with a "humorless vision."

568  Baumbach, Jonathan, 'Going To the Movies: Pieces of the Masters', Partisan Review 41, no. 4, 581-585. 

Short review of Lancelot du Lac: "The film's real subject is Bresson's odd way of perceiving an event which moves us not through action or characters but almost wholly through image and form."

569  Bechtold, Charles, 'Les Chemins de Robert Bresson: le graal ou la fin du voyage?', Cinématographe 10 (November-December), 33-37. 

Discussion of Bresson's method of directing actors and the resulting main characters. Bechtold finds several common traits that connect the "heroes": they are all lost and deprived, they are all alone, and the catalyst of their liberty is always another person.

570*  Billard, Pierre, 'Lancelot du Lac', Le Journal du Dimanche (29 September). 

Cited in entry 604.

571  Bory, Jean-Louis, 'Souffles et fracas: Bresson raconte en musicien le naufrage de la chevalerie', Le Nouvel Observateur (16 September), 96. 

Review of Lancelot du Lac. Bory considers the film a success, but feels that Bresson has gone too far in his borrowing from musical structure. He also points out how Bresson's own "quest" for a perfected cinematogaphy and his free use of the signs, the flags, and the natural Bressonian items that a medieval setting has to offer reflect his affinity for the material. Reprinted: entry 633.

572  Capdenac, Michel, 'Lancelot du Lac', Écran 29 (October), 57-59. 

Review that emphasizes the mythical elements of the film and Bresson's "radical perspective."

573  Chauvet, Louis, 'Les Films: 'Lancelot du Lac'', Le Figaro (26 September), 21. 

Chauvet is inclined to like the film because he admires the style, but finds it to have no feeling.

574  Chevassu, François, 'Lancelot du Lac': contre', Image et Son 291 (December), 101-102. 

Opposing a positive review in the same issue, Chevassu argues that the film is too self-consciously constructed, even if by a "true theoretician."

575  Cocks, Jay, 'Pictures at an Exhibition', Time (14 October), 4. 

Negative review of Lancelot du Lac which "lacks passion for all its frosty beauty."

576  Cooper, Arthur, 'Lovers, Traitors, Con Men', Newsweek (14 October), 131. 

Short review of Lancelot du Lac: "Unlike [Bresson's] earlier and superior films, the moral anguish of the hero remains unconvincing."

577  Delmas, Jean, 'Robert Bresson et ses armures', Jeune Cinéma 82 (Novenber),19-24. 

Review that discusses Lancelot du Lac in terms of Bresson's quest for his own language and an accompanying "will to abstraction."

578  Duval, Roland, 'Non, c'est pas du poulet', Écran 30 (November),10-11. 

Column on the bad treatment Lancelot du Lac is getting from the critics at Écran. Duval accuses them of being "stingy on the stars" when rating this "Hitchcockian masterpiece." Duval himself got a "stiff neck from the suspense."

579*  Ezine, Jean-Louis, 'Entretien avec Bresson', Les Nouvelles Littéraires (23 September) 

Cited in entry 632.

580*  Ferroni, G, 'Il cinema e l'impossible', Filmcritica 25 (November-December), 403-407. 

Cited in Film Literature Index, 1974.

581  Grant, Jacques, 'Lancelot du Lac.', Cinéma 74, no. 188 (July), 92. 

Notice of the controversial showing of the film outside the formal Cannes competition "in spite of the collective shame of the selectors whom Michel Piccoli publicly denounced."

582  Grant, Jacques, 'Lancelot du Lac', Cinéma 74, no. 190-91 (September-October), 273-75. 

Grant characterizes Bresson's cinema as the "cinema of the sign": "Unlike Buñuel who shows us symbols in action, Bresson shows us the objects themselves, but by signs, the means of expression which, since the beginning of language, is the most direct possible between one person and another."

583*  Jung, F., 'Vier Nachte eines Träumers', Jugend Film Fernsehen 18, no. 2, 107-108. 

Cited in Film Literature Index, 1974.

584*  Karkosch, K., 'Robert Bresson: der Maler mit der Filmkamera', Film & Ton Magazin 10 (May), 37-39. 

Cited in Film Literature Index, 1974.

585  Latil-LeDantec, Mireille, 'Lancelot', Cinématographe 10 (November-December), 38-42. 

In a long introduction to an analysis of Lancelot du Lac, Latil-Le Dantec laments Bresson's failure to reach the wide audience he deserves, calling him a "victim of etiquette." The film is seen as a perfect subject for Bresson, "rich with ambiguities" and with a central relationship that plays them out to the fullest.

586  Lellis, George, 'Lancelot du Lac', Cinema Texas 7, no. 32 (28 October) 

Lellis considers Bresson "a technician beyond reproach, a man incapable of making even the smallest error of taste," and pretentious because of it.

587  McKegney, Michael, 'The Greening of Camelot', Village Voice (31 October), 110, 112. 

Review that considers the film to be about the "contrast between the freedom and growth of the spirit and the fixed stability of physical reality."

588*  Maingois, Michel, 'Le Geste de R. Bresson, 'Lancelot du Lac'', Zoom 27 (November-December), 104. 

Cited in entry 632.

589  Martin, Marcel, 'Les Trésors de la rentrée: le hieratisme héraldique de Robert Bresson', Cinéma Pratique 20, nos. 134-135 (November-December), 244-246. 

Review of Lancelot du Lac as a "conquest of purity" and a very private form of expression.

590  Martin, Paul-Louis, 'Lancelot du Lac', Image et Son 291 (December), 98-101. 

Positive review and discussion of the film's structure of signs in the dialogue, framing, sound, and so forth.

591  Polhemus, Helen M., 'Matter and Spirit in the Films of Robert Bresson', Film Heritage 9, no. 3, 12-16. 

General remarks on Bresson's work as a whole and specific discussion of Mouchette and Journal d'un curé de campagne that places great emphasis on the "conclusive climax" of each film. Polhemus sees the films as existing in a "cheerless . . . November" world, which the final images of "true liberation" transcend and clarify.

592  Predal, René, 'Leonce H. Burel', Cinéma 74, no. 189 (July-August), 104-108. 

Interview with Burel in which he claims that Bresson misrepresented Jeanne d'Arc by presenting her as a cunning girl. He describes Bresson as a man who brooks no disagreement and never wants to recognize that he is wrong.

593  Prouse, Derek, 'Rare Promises', Sunday Times (London) (17 November), 35. 

Negative notice on Lancelot du Lac: "An arid, unharrowing experience."

594  Robinson, David, 'The Unconventional in Locarno', Times (London) (26 August), 5. 

Notice of a showing at the Locarno festival of Lancelot du Lac, a film "that could seem self-parody."

595  Rosenbaum. Jonathan, 'Bresson's 'Lancelot du Lac'', Sight and Sound 43, no. 3 (Summer), 128-130. 

Review that finds the film the perfection of Bresson's film language, a model of "clarity and simplicity."

596  Schofer, Peter, 'Dissolution into Darkness: Bresson's 'Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé'', Sub-Stance 9, 59-66. 

A routine wrap-up of rhetorical devices used in the film -- elipsis, synecdoche, metonymy -- couched in theoretical simplistics: "We should construct the 'other' film that is absent . . . . The visible refers to the invisible. Presence means absence."

597  Sémolué, Jean, 'Lancelot du Lac', Téléciné 191-192 (September-October), 23-26. [Fiche filmographique, no. 563.] 

Synopsis, discussion of the twenty-year history of the film, and analysis of the film itself: the "ruptures in the discourse," its darker than usual message, its particular kind of continuity that relies heavily on abstract rhythms, and its place in Bressom's oeuvre.

598  Sineux, Michel, 'Un Autre Point de vue sur 'Lancelot du Lac': le chevalier inexistant', Positif 163 (November), 73-74. 

Negative review of this "clichéd" film made by a "megalomaniac of the ellipse." Sineux sees the continuous averting of the eyes as "aesthetic constipation."

599  Smith, Patti, 'Robert Bresson', in Babel, New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 128-32. 

After falling off a stage and breaking her neck, Smith had a projector installed in her room and watched movies, one of which was Au hasard, Balthazar, viewed "several hundred times under mild sedation." Many poetic insights, including a description of Anne Wiazemsky as "the artist's model, Eve the manipulatable . . . the victim, the sacrificial lamb of inspiration."

600*  Stutz, Hans, [Review of 'Lancelot du Lac'], Zoom Filmberater 11. 

Cited in entry 687.

601  Vitoux, Frédéric, 'L'Armure sied à Bresson ('Lancelot du Lac')', Positif 163 (November), 72-73. 

Positive review of this "perfect meeting of subject and style . . . one of the most beautiful successes in French cinema."



602  Turim, Maureen, The Textual System of 'Au Hasard, Balthazar', M.A. thesis, University of Wisconsin, Madison. 170 pp. 

Semiotic analysis that attempts to situate the film in a Marxist framework. Turim details the erotic paradigm (after Bataille) and the treatment in the film of exchange and value. Also includes plot diagrams, a discussion of the narrative organization, and a detailed analysis of the first and last segments as proof of a system of closure. Though a solid and admiring study, Turim finds the text wanting, for "it does not and cannot define what there is to believe in that would make a difference"; Au hasard, Balthazar therefore must remain an interim step in the political revamping of film form.


603  Allombert, Guy, 'En toute franchise: ne confondons pas baveur et cravateur', Image et Son 292 (January), 2-3. 

Sarcastic review of Lancelot du Lac: "Enough of this sterile narcissism which ignores life, the actual world, and men."

604  Anon., 'Lancelot du Lac', L'Avant-Scène 155 (February), 46-50. 

Synopsis, short interview with Bresson, and press clips.

605  Anon., 'Robert Bresson et le cinématographe', Cinéma Quebec 4, no. 3 (May), 33-36. 

Gathering of quotations from Bresson on Lancelot du Lac, anachronisms, Dreyer, brilliance, and poverty.

606  Armes, Roy, 'Cinema: Film Theory and Practice: Buñuel, Bresson, and Tati', London Magazine 15, no. 1 (April-May), 96-101. 

Lancelot du Lac discussed in the context of current film theory and changing ideas of film narrative. Very general.

607  Bastaire, Jean, 'Cinéma: dans l'amitié de Robert Bresson', La Nouvelle Revue Française 272 (August), 116-21. 

An account of Bastaire's friendship with Bresson, carried on mostly by letter.

608  Berg, Charles Ramirez, 'Le Journal d'un Curé de Campagne', Cinema Texas 8 (20 March). 

Review of the film's narrative elements as a "perfect dramatic pyramid."

609  Biette, Jean-Claude, 'Lancelot du Lac', Image et Son 299 (October), 217-218. 

Short, pointed analysis of the film, which Biette describes as a stale product too long in the idea stage. Bresson is placed at a pole opposite Renoir, and his previous films lauded for a rigor and intensity that this one lacks.

610  Clarens, Carlos, 'Behind Lancelot: Histoires d'A', Film (London) 22 (January), 3. 

Production background on Lancelot du Lac, anecdotes, and so forth.

611  Duval, Roland, 'Quand le film noir se met au vert', Écran 33 (February), 12-13. 

Half-serious, half-humorous piece that contends that the only thing close to American film noir in France is Bresson's oeuvre.

612  Elley, Derek, 'Robert Bresson', in Fifty Major Film-makers. Edited by Peter Cowie. New York: A. S. Barnes, 43-47. 

Similar to a previous essay (see entry 545) an Bresson's career. Also includes biographical information.

613*  Flipo, E., 'Bresson grand format: 'Lancelot du Lac'', Amis du Film et de la Télévision 224 (January), 16-17. 

Cited in Film Literature Index, 1975.

614  Gilliat, Penelope, 'Bresson's Legend of a Fugitive', New Yorker (6 June), 117-119. 

Positive review of the "dazzlingly severe and beautiful" Lancelot du Lac.

615*  Grafe, Frieda, 'Asketenexzesse', Süddeutsche Zeitung (22-23 November) 

Cited in entry 687.

616*  Hollstein, Dorothea, 'Arbeitshilfe', in Filme des Monats 1973-74. Edited by Rainer Bunz. Frankfurt: Gemeinschaftswerk der Evangelischen Publizistik, 50-57. 

Cited in entry 687.

617  Kaufman, Stanley, 'Une femme douce', in Living images, New York: Harper & Row, 57-59. 

Reprint of entry 507.

618  Kelman, Ken, 'The Structure of Fate: Bresson's 'Pickpocket', in The Essential Cinema. Edited by P. Adams Sitney. New York: Anthology Film Archives and New York University Press, 208-215. 

A character study that supplies motivation for most of the action and psychological explanation for most of the shots in the film. The points made lend solid support to a narrow, though plausible interpretation of Pickpocket as maturation drama.

619  Korn, Eric, 'Bloodstock', New Statesman 90 (5 September), 287. 

Positive review of Lancelot du Lac despite the "Bressonian longeurs."

620  Lefebvre, J.P., 'Le Cinéma de derrière l'émulsion', Cinéma Quebec 4, no. 3 (May), 34-36. 

Lefebvre, a filmmaker, describes Bresson's work as "essentially moral" and "a prism . . . which defies the anecdotal and enlarges the interior of space and time by knowledge of the experience of others."

621  Milne, Tom, 'Lancelot of the Lake', Monthly Film Bulletin 42, no. 500 (September), 199-200. 

Review that focuses on the increasingly pessimistic views of Bresson: "From being different, the attainment of grace has gradually become virtually impossible."

622  Oudart, Jean-Pierre, 'Un Pouvoir qui ne pense, ne calcule, ni ne juge', Cahiers du Cinéma 258-259 (July-August), 36-41. 

An analysis of Lancelot du Lac and Aguirre, la colère de dieu as studies of feudal power on the verge of decline. Oudart defines this as a fascist power used immoderately and passionately, which upsets the bourgeois conscience in its joy at transgressing the rules. Meanwhile it paradoxically maintains the bourgeois ideal of an individualist exercise of power by being a "perversion of power" instead of an opposing one. By turning on themselves in this and other ways, these films hold up for judgment the dominant ideology and its power codes, but refuse to take the judgment seriously. Oudart is struck by what he considers to be the films' radical representation of fascism in their refusal to incorporate the stereotypical sexual perversities that in cinema traditionally make fascism attractive. But he also argues that this attitude cannot be accounted for by political conscience. It is rather a "religion . . . of reserved artistic territory," by which the filmmakers cast aside the dominant ideology with a "nihilistic laugh." [See also entries 528 and 674]

623  Robinson, David, 'End of Arthurian Dream', Times (London) (5 September), 7. 

Positive review of Lancelot du Lac: "an elegy and valediction for the Arthurian legend and the quest for a spiritual ideal."

624*  Rood, Jurriën, 'Een minimumtaal: 'Lancelot du Lac' van Robert Bresson', Skoop 11 (May), 34-35. 

Cited in Film Literature Index, 1975.

625  Sitney, P. Adams, 'The Rhetoric of Robert Bresson', in The Essential Cinema, New York: Anthology Film Archives, New York University Press, 182-207. 

Analysis of Bresson's linear style and the rhetorical devices at work in his films: "synecdoche, histeron proteon, binary contexts, the two-part shot, ellipses, and elision." Sitney sees Bresson's development as corresponding to a "subjunctivization" of the narrative whereby dramatic emphasis and accented episodes are avoided. The subjunctive mode distracts from the action and "points to the way the action is perceived." It is Bresson's distinction that the formal devices that create this mode function as a necessary element of the narrative rather than stand outside it. A good amount of evidence is brought to the argument, including detailed explication of a series of shots from Mouchette and several segments from Au hasard, Balthazar.

626  Truffaut, François, 'Robert Bresson', in Les Films de ma vie. Paris: Flammarion, 208-18. 

Reprints of entries 94, 117. Also a third review: see entry 700 for annotation.

627  Wilson, R.A., 'Lancelot of the Lake', Audience 84 (June), 5-6. 

Admiring review of this tale of "barn-loft infidelity and in-group politicking."

628*  Wolff, Egmont (ed.), Robert Bresson, Kempton: Filmcub e 69. 

Cited in entry 687.



629  Ferrero, Adelio, Bresson, Florence: La Nuovo Italia, 120 pp. 

Critical analyses of Bresson's films through Lancelot du Lac, including chapters on the strained production atmo sphere of 1943 occupied France (the year Les Anges du péché was made); Journal d'un curé de campagne as literary adaptation; the "Trilogy of Liberation" (Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé, Pickpocket, and Procès de Jeanne d'Arc); Mouchette; Au hasard, Balthazar; and Lancelot du Lac.
  Ferraro is an erudite critic who has a wide knowledge of the literary and historical sources of Bresson's films. He sees them as dominated by two elements: a "chain of metaphors" comprised of cells, traps, and tortures; and an explication of the radical antithesis of an established world and a character who does not recognize his or her self in it. Bresson explores this antithesis through the "horizontality" of an interior experience revealed through faces, gestures, and words. In this way, he ernphasizes the "diversity" of his characters and their existence at odds with the established world and its rigid habits, low horizons, and "interiorized norms." But in his insistence on destiny and solitude, Bresson paradoxically creates a "cinema of negation"; he diminishes this "diversity" that his characters represent and with it "the central nucleus of his cinema."

630  Tinazzi, Giorgio, Il cinema di Robert Bresson, Venice: Marsilo, 138 pp. 

Two introductory chapters and analyses of each of the films through Lancelot du Lac. Tinazzi sees the films as structured by "refusals" (of spectacle, acting, plot, etc.) and based on two principal themes: liberation, and the "exploration of possibilities." He emphasizes Bresson's desire to translate the past into the present, which leads Bresson to "reduce" the facts to a negligible importance and focus on their preceding moments or aftermaths. Tinazzi's analyses are traditional and formal; he elaborates the films' structural economy and their distinctly individual dimension, saying they all have the make-up of a personalized "itinerary." He also examines the philosophical and religious influences on Bresson and concludes that the ambiguity and complexity of his philosophical position are derived from Pascal, Racine, Dostoevsky, and the existentialists. With them, Bresson sees the social dimension as reduced to a relationship between the individual and the rules, between subjective affirmation and idealized, enforced consolidation.


631  Armes, Roy, 'An Anachronistic Universe', in The Ambiguous Image: Narrative Style in Modern European Cinema, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 82-94. 

Discussion of Bresson's career that describes his work as a radical renewal of a literary tradition. Armes argues, focusing particularly on the films of the 1960s, that Bresson employs nineteenth-century ideas, but powerfully resurrects them through abstraction.

632  Bertin-Maghit, Jean-Pierre, 'De l'écran à la classe: 'Lancelot du Lac' de Robert Bresson', Pédagogie 31, no. 2 (February), 53-64. 

Two study lessons for the presentation of Lancelot du Lac in the classroom. One treats the approach to the Arthurian legend; the second offers a framework for detailed semiological analysis of a particular section.

633  Bory, Jean-Louis, 'Souffles et fracas', in L'Obstacle et la Gerbe, Paris: Union Générale d'Éditions, 373-377. 

Reprint of entry 571.

634  Christensen, Jerome C., 'Versions of Adolescence: Robert Bresson's 'Four Nights of a Dreamer' and Dostoevsky's 'White Nights'', Literature/Film Quarterly 4, no. 3 (Summer), 222-229. 

Long article comparing the original story and film adaptation, emphasizing their similar presentation of the love relationships: Marthe's aggressive maneuvering toward a marriage contract and Jacques's less practical, but more sincere desire for ideal love.

635  Gerlach, John, ''The Diary of a Country Priest': A Total Conversion', Literature/Film Quarterly 4, no. 1 (Winter), 39-45. 

Describes the film in contrast to the book as a narrative that emphasizes the significance of particular instances. Argues that this method is better suited to film, and much different from the convergence of social issues that the book rests upon.

636  Grant, Jacques, 'Entretien avec Benoit Jacquot', Cinéma 76, no. 207 (March), 107. 

In an interview, Jacquot, the director of l'Assassin musicien distinguishes his own use of nonprofessional actors from Bresson's. He describes the relationship between a filmmaker and actors as analogous to a sexual one and suggests that while Bresson strains to ignore this dynamic, he (Jacquot) wishes to confront and analyze the relationship.

637  Martin, Marcel, 'Rencontre à propos de l'évolution esthétique de l'image, avec Philippe Agostini', Cinéma Practique 147 (August-September) , 146-149. 

Interview with Bresson's first cinematographer, who briefly describes his relationship with Bresson as at first difficult, but still a fondly remembered collaboration.

638  Nogueira, Roi, 'Burel and Bresson'. Translated and with an introduction by Tom Milne. Sight and Sound 4, no. 1 (Winter),18-21. 

Burel speaks at length of the four films he made with Bresson, the disagreements they had, and the final break-up over Procès de Jeanne d'Arc.

639  Petric, Vlada, 'For a Close Cinematic Analysis', Quarterly Review of Film Studies 1, no. 4, 453-477. 

In an article on the pedagogical value of shot-by-shot analysis, Petric uses as an example the opening sequence of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé. The actual shot-by-shot description is included, as well as thirty frame enlargements.

640  Powell, Dilys, 'No Yen for Zen', Sunday Times (London) (4 January), 36. 

Short negative notice of Lancelot du Lac.

641  Truffaut, François, 'A Certain Tendency of the French Cinema', in Movies and Methods. Edited by Bill Nichols. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 224-37. 

Reprint of entry 360.

642  Westerbeck, Colin jr., 'Robert Bresson's Austere Vision', Artforum 15, no. 3 (November), 52-57. 

Wrap-up of Bresson's career that places Procès de Jeanne d'Arc at its height because in that film Bresson's manner of "delimitation," of reducing human experience to details, reached its most severe and rigorous expression.

643*  Williams, A., 'On the Absence of the Grail', Movietone News 47 (January), 10-13. 

Cited in Film Literature Index, 1976.



644  Filmoteca Nacional de España, Robert Bresson, Barcelona: Filmoteca Nacional de España, 234 pp. 

Anthology of excerpted material, mostly from the French literature, translated into Spanish. A chapter on each film, including Le Diable probablement.

645  Hanlon, Lindley Page, Narrative Structure in the Later Films of Robert Bresson, Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 341 pp. 

Extensive formal analyses of the narrative structures of five of the later films, which Hanlon uses to argue that all narrative elements in a Bresson film carry equal weight and come to full significance only when considered in relation to his work as a whole. The first chapter is a "topical analysis" of Une Femme douce, including a comparison to the Dostoevsky story and a discussion of point of view. The other chapters include a "chronological reading" of Au hasard, Balthazar, and analyses of the characters and acting in Quatre nuits d'un rêveur and sound and music in Mouchette. The last chapter, on Lancelot du Lac, is an unusual discussion of the poetic dialogue and voice intonations in that film, which well illustrates the care Bresson takes even with the construction of dialogue.


646*  Baer, Volker, 'Hinter die Dinge kommen', Der Tagesspiegel (25 September) 

Cited in entry 687.

647  Bordwell, David and Thompson, Kristin, 'Functions of Film Sound: 'A Man Escaped', in Film Art: An Introduction, Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 207-15. 

Uses the film as a textbook example of the uses and effects of sound.

648  Bory, Jean-Louis, 'Dracula, sans doute . . .', Nouvelle Observateur (27 June), 73. 

Review of Le Diable probablement describing it as a horror story that expresses Bresson's abhorrence of the world and pushes his ideas to their inevitable extrene.

649  Browne, Nick, 'Narrative Point of View: The Rhetoric of 'Au Hasard, Balthazar', Film Quarterly 31, no. 1 (Fall), 19-31. 

Dense analysis of the complex presentation of point of view in Au hasard, Balthazar, which allows the spectator to view the film as "aesthetic image" or imaginative object, and Balthazar as a "special sign" or religious subject. Browne contrasts the allegorical functioning, which pushes the film toward its religious meaning, and the story functioning, which is lacking in "narrative necessity" because it is ordered by chance. He amply illustrates the "strategies of dissociation" (in the action, characterization, music, etc.), as well as the system of shot/reverse shots that discourages spectator identification. Finally, he argues that the film presents a "restructuring of the relations" between character, spectator, and narrator that "reexamines the premises and means of narration." This restructuring reveals the authority for the meaning of the images to be that of the narrator, a narrator who recognizes and makes his limits known by a "film form based on disjunct views."

650*  Burg, Vinzenz B., 'Von der Begrenztheit der eigenen Welt', Film-Korrespondenz (6 September) 

Cited in entry 687.

651  Capdenac, Michel, 'Les Hirondelles du printemps', Europe-Revues Littéraire Mensuelle 580-581 (August-September), 209-210. 

Review of Le Diable probablement that lauds Bresson's persistence in refining the language of film, but is critical of the social-political context of the problems presented in it.

652  Clurman, Harold, 'Film Festival I.', Nation (15 October), 379-380. 

Positive review of Le Diable probablement and its "unsentimental compassion."

653*  Crawford, Jo Ann, 'Lancelot: The Grail Has Eluded Us', Thousand Eyes Magazine 2 (March), 7. 

Cited in Film Literature Index, 1977.

654  Daney, Serge, ''Le Diable probablement' de Robert Bresson: l'orgue et l'aspirateur (la voix off et quelques autres)', Cahiers du Cinéma 279-280 (August-September), 18-27. 

Detailed discussion of sound in Le Diable probablement as it illustrates Bresson's pessimistic view of human speech as a carrier of truth. Daney analyzes several scenes, most successfully the one referred to in the title, in which a group discussion of modern Catholicism in a Gothic cathedral is punctuated and drowned out, in turn, by an organ being tuned and a vacuum cleaning the carpet. It is a "Bressonian heterology: the high (organ), the low (discussion), and the trivial that destroys the simple opposition of high and low (the vacuum cleaner)." The last parts of the essay comprise a more abstractly theoretical discussion of voice-on, voice-off, and Bresson's distinction between the mouth and the voice. Daney redefines the "famed Bressonian voice" as one that requires only the slightest opening of the mouth, that reduces as much as possible the recognition of the effort of emission; for the voice is the whole person (weak though that may be) while the mouth is clear, obvious, a hole "for the pleasure of the devil." Partially translated into English: entry 707.

655  Dawson, Jan, 'The Invisible Enemy', Film Comment 13 (September), 23-24. 

Review of Le Diable probablement emphasizing the increasing darkness of Bresson's vision, his religious unorthodoxy on the question of suicide, and the film's complete absence of any consoling social or religious element.

656  Estève, Michel, 'Le Désespoir de Robert Bresson', Esprit 9, 87-89. 

Positive review of Le Diable probablement: The first fictional film to adopt the stance of the ecologists and an "unpitying, ferocious satire on consumer society." Estève sees the film as a despairing "cry of alarm" from a filmmaker heretofore known for his "tragic optimism."

657*  Fieschi, J., 'Robert Bresson', Cinématographe 29 (July-August), 28-30. 

Cited in Film Literature Index 1977 . Interview on Le Diable probablement.

658  Ford, Charles, Histoire du cinéma français contemporain 1945-1977 , Paris: Éditions France-Empire, 76-78. 

Wrap-up of Bresson's career that considers its height to be Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé. A decline has followed because of his "obstinate use of non-professionals."

659  Gastellier, Fabian, 'Le Diable probablement', Jeune Cinéma 104 (July-August), 49-50. 

Review critical of Bresson's approach to the problems of the modern world. The style is as beautiful and powerful as ever, but the ideas are trite and weak, and even contradict Bresson's stated faith in "clear-thinking young people."

660  Gauthier, Armel, 'Lancelot du Lac',. Téléciné 214 (January),13-14. 

Short notice of a showing on French television.

661  Giger, Bernard, [Review of 'Le Diable probablement'], Zoom Filmberater 20 (19 October). 

Cited in entry 687.

662  Giraud, Thérèse, 'Réflexions sur cinéma-et-historie', Cahiers du Cinéma 277 (June), 63-65. 

Bresson is mentioned in an article on the third Festival of Cinema and History at Valence. Includes a still from Pickpocket from a scene not included in the film.

663*  Grafe, Frieda, 'Silentium', Süddeutsche Zeitung (24-25 September). 

Cited in entry 687.

664  Holloway, Ron, Beyond the Image: Approaches to the Religious Dimension in the Cinema, Geneva: World Council of Churches, Interfilm, 23, 186-90. 

A detailed study of Christian theology as it is expounded in the cinema, in which Bresson's films play a respected part. Compares his work with the parables of Jesus in illustrating that "how we conduct ourselves determines who we are." Suggests, though only barely illustrates, that "the key to Bresson's cinema is his interpretation of the traditional Christ figure."

665  Jouvet, P, [Review of 'Le Diable probablement'], Cinématographe 29 (July-August), 35. 

Cited in Film Literature Index, 1977.

666  Latil-Le Dantec, Mireille, 'Bresson et l'argent', Cinématographe 27 (May), 15-19. 

Traces the theme of money through all films, in particular the "Dostoevskian cycle" of Pickpocket, Au hasard, Balthazar, Une Femme douce and Quatre nuits d'un rêveur. Concludes that this theme works to expose the dialectic of freedom and oppression.

667  Latil-Le Dantec, Mireille, [Review of 'Le Diable probablement'], Cinématographe 29 (July-August), 31-34. 

Cited in Film Literature Index, 1977.

668  Lauret, Bernard, ''Le Diable probablement': à moins que cet enfermente', Téléciné 220 (July-August), 40-41. 

Describes the film sympathetically as bound by perverse loves and money-corrupted relationships, but is very critical of Bresson's "senile" and "decadent" attempts to suggest suicide as a responsible solution.

669  Magny, Joel, 'Robert Bresson: 'Le Diable probablement'; état de manque', Cinéma 77, no. 223 (July), 98-99. 

Describes Bresson's technique as one that plays games with the spectator's desire to see more -- more space, more time, more events. Magny is one of the few to still see hope in Bresson's vision, hope being a product of despair imploding in on itself.

670  Martin, Marcel, 'Le Diable probablement', Écran 60 (15 July), 60-61. 

Positive review describing the film as a "profoundly coherent" explication of a worldview that rejects all politics as well as all psychology, and is lyrical in the process of expounding on itself.

671  Milne, Tom, 'Le Diable probablement', Sight and Sound 47, no. 1 (Winter), 16-17, 22. 

Positive review suggesting that the "light" in Bresson's darkened vision is in the inanimate objects that he portrays humorously.

672  O'Konor, L., 'Tankar om abstraktion och realism nos Robert Bresson', Filmrutan 20, no. 1, 33. 

Cited in Film Literature Index 1977.

673  Oudart, Jean-Pierre, 'Cinema and Suture', Screen 18, no. 4 (Winter), 35-47. 

Translation of entry 455.

674  Oudart, Jean-Pierre, 'Modernité de Robert Bresson', Cahiers du Cinéma 279-280 (August-September), 27-30. 

An ambiguous analysis of Le Diable probablement that finds Oudart stepping back from the extremely negative criticism of Quatre nuits d'un rêveur and Lancelot du Lac (see entries 528, 622). In this film, Bresson's sensibility is bourgeois because of its insistence on the existence of evil, but also modern because of its functioning as a critical aesthetic. "It is the perversion of a bourgeois filmmaker filming bourgeois bodies . . . but also . . . the deep questioning of a person from a particular class (l'être de class)." The film is afflicted with Bresson's "own experience of desire, language, power, and money, all the evil that his body has experienced." It is impossible to make sense of the evil, as it is not explained or presented as an opposite. Thus Oudart sees the film as "scandalous," but also he finds in it a lesson: "Do not adore images; do not appropriate images for yourself that belong to others; do not put in a cage the vagabond angels."

675*  Pflaum, Hans Günther, 'Robert Bresson', in Jahrbuch Film 77/78, Munich: Hanser 152-156. 

Cited in entry 687.

676  Potrel-Dorget, Marie-Line, 'Le Diable probablement', Image et Son 322 (November), 98. 

Review emphasizing Bresson's increasing pessimism, but also his lucidity. A quote from the film is presented as the key to its dark vision: "My sickness is that I see things clearly."

677  Rickey, Carrie, 'Contamination Categorically: Robert Bresson's 'The Devil Probably', Artforum 16, no. 4 (December), 54-55. 

Positive review: "There is something ineffable in every frame, every second, because Bresson's interstices are so moving that by inference that which is not there -- the essential -- can only be even more powerful."

678  Roud, Richard, 'Redemption of Despair', Film Comment 13 (September), 23-24. 

Roud calls Le Diable probablement Bresson's best film since Pickpocket because it readjusts "the ratio of emotion to abstraction" that has been out of balance since then.

679  Samuels, Charles, 'Bresson's Gentleness', in Mastering the Film and Other Essays, Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 160-70. 

Reprint of entry 511.

680  Schrader, Paul, 'Robert Bresson, Possibly', Film Comment 13 (September), 26-30. 

In an interview, Schrader tries to pin Bresson down on grace, redemption, Jansenism, saints, suicide, and death; Bresson, for the most part, resists. Also includes sections on pornography and violence.

681*  Seger, J., 'Lancelot du Lac', Film en Televisie (Brussels) 239 (April), 38. 

Cited in Film Literature Index, 1977.

628  Seguin, Louis, 'Dieu certainement: Robert Bresson: 'Le Diable probablement'', Quinzaine Littéraire 261, 27. 

Review comparing the film with the tragic romanticism of Goethe. Though Bresson does not allow himself to agree with the analysis he presents, Seguin wonders how he can compromise his reputation with so common a theme as ecology.

683  Sémolué, Jean, 'Le Film bressonian, bel objet; 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne': éléments d'un dossier critique', L'Avant-Scène 196 (November), 5, 75-78. 

Two articles on the film that accompany the publication of the script: an introduction and a critical afterword consisting mostly of excerpts from the literature on the film.

684  Vitoux, Frédéric, 'Les Vides de l'image', Positif 197 (September), 61-63. 

Review of Le Diable probablement: "A film on emptiness which is itself empty." But the extreme coherence of the style forces "our esteem, if not our admiration."

685  Weingarten, I., 'Robert Bresson's 'Le Diable probablement', Sight and Sound 46, no. 3 (Summer), 162. 

Three photographs from the film and a caption.

686*  Wiegand, Wilfred, 'Der Puritaner unter den Filmregisseuren', Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (24 September). 

Cited in entry 687.



687  Buchka, Petere.a.Robert Bresson. With contributions by Peter Bucha, Robert Bresson, Hans Helmut Prinzler, Stefan Schädler, Karsten Witte. Munich: Carl Hanser Verlag, 199 pp.  

Introductory essay, an exchange of letters between Bresson and Witte, comments on each of the films, and an extensive filmography and bibliography.
  The essay by Peter Buchka is entitled "Bresson's Filmic Wager on the Nature of Man" and emphasizes Bresson's relationship to Jansenist philosophy. Buchka sees the films as being characterized by seeming contradictions; a form in excess of the scope of the story being told; a narrative opposed to classical concepts of continuity; and a thematic similarity, which reflects Bresson's own uncompromising control over the films. He then discusses the acting as "being" instead of "appearing," and suggests that the characters' passion is expressed through suffering instead of warmth. But the main focus of the essay is Bresson's Jansenism, which is not of the preaching, moralistic kind, but has to do with his nonjudgmental, appearance-negating style, and his emphasis on the final scenes of death and deliveration. Buchka analyzes these scenes in an attempt to prove that they show an unclear fate; no observer can know the redemption that only God grants. He sees the characters' plight as an urgent demand for the respect that assuages this fate, and as "a mimicry of scapegoats" who "sink into the rotten reality from which they would like to isolate themselves, and in that process, unite themselves with the cry, "Everything should be different!'"
  The comments on the films, by Stefan Schädler, for the most part reiterate the standard interpretations based on formal analysis. Like Buchka, he sees the film style as developing over time and not as integrated thematically in the first films as it will come to be in the later ones. For Schädler, Bresson is a "great experimenter" who tries something new in every film and effectively illustrates the isolation of the individual from the "system."


688  Armes, Roy, 'Robert Bresson', in Great Film Directors. Edited by Leo Braudy and Morris Dickstein. New York:Oxford 91-96. 

Reprint of entry 467.

689  Bazin, André, ''Le Journal d'un Curé de Campagne' and the Stylistics of Robert Bresson', in Great Film Directors. Edited by Leo Braudy and Morris Dickstein. New York: Oxford, 97-105. 

Reprint of entry 368.

690  Estève, Michel, 'Bernanos et Bresson: étude de 'Journal d'un curé de campagne' et 'Mouchette'', La Revue des Lettres Modernes, Archives Bernanos, no. 7, 33-111. 

Detailed, lengthy analysis of Bresson's two adaptations from Bernanos; largely a reworking of Estève's previous work on the subject. Illustrates the success of both films in translating the spirit of the novels, and their place in Bresson's quest for a film language free of influence from the aesthetic principles of the novel.

691  Estève, Michel, 'Le Dieu caché de Bernanos et de Bresson: 'Journal d'un curé de campagne', in Cinéma et condition humaine, Paris: Éditions Albatross, 211-17. 

Review of the literature on the film as adaptation; yet another reworking of Estève's ideas and an affirmation of his feeling that the film is a masterpiece that testifies "at once to the absence and presence of God on the screen."

692  Estève, Michel, 'L'Itinéraire de Bresson', Français Dans le Monde 135 (February), 65-66. 

Review of Le Diable probablement: A "cry of alarm" and an affirmation of Bresson's view of the world as a prison where any attempt at freedom, except death, meets failure.

693  Estève, Michel, 'Lancelot du Lac', in Cinéma et condition humaine, Paris: Éditions Albatross, 147-151. 

Describes the film as a milestone in Bresson's career and a revivification of his work through its precisely made, antinaturalistic, and poetic abstraction.

694  Cow, Gordon, 'The Devil Probably', Films and Filming 24, no. 7 (April), 36-37. 

Review stressing the difficulty and austerity of Bresson's style, which Cow apologizes for not appreciating.

695  Gregor, Ulrich, 'Robert Bresson', in Geschichte des Films ab 1960, Munich, C. Bertelsmann Verlag, 16-20 

Routine wrap-up of Bresson's career through Le Diable probablement.

696  Lambert, Gavin, ''Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé': A Review', in Great Film Directors. Edited by Leo Braudy and Morris Dickstein. New York: Oxford, 106-112. 

Reprint of entry 139.

697  Pym, John, 'The Devil Probably', Monthly Film Bulletin 45, no. 529 (February), 23. 

Synopsis and review: The film "presents us with a painterly enervated vision of a society in which man has submitted to science and lost his will . . . to fight for his own survival."

698  Robinson, David, 'Bresson -- and the Battle Against Evil', Times (London) (17 February), 7. 

Positive review of Le Diable probablement emphasizing Bresson's concern with modern society's "perilous moral predicament."

699  Stewart, Bruce, 'Kinds of Suicide', The Month 11, no. 4 (April), 135. 

Review of Le Diable probablement: Bresson is "one of those cerebral French Catholics who . . . moves gravely down gothic aisles making dignified obeisances to a remote and stern god."

700  Truffaut, François, Robert Bresson', in The Films In My Life. Translated by Leonard Mayhew. New York, Simon & Schuster, 188-196. 

Translation of entry 626. See entries 94 and 117 for annotations of the first two items. The third article is a review of Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé that could not be traced. It describes the film as "pure music" and an explosion of all previous notions of "classical cutting."




701  Bazin, André, ''Das Tagebuch eines Landpfarrers' und die Stilistik von Robert Bresson', Filmkritik 23, no. 5 (May), 220-233. 

Translation of entry 44. See entry 368 for annotation.

702  Horton, Andrew, 'An Interview with Louis Malle', Literature/Film Quarterly 7, no. 2., 89. 

Includes comments by Malle on Bresson, whom he worked with on Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé.

703*  Jutkevic, S., 'Cinematograf Robert Bresson', Iskusstovo Kino, no. 2 (February), 145-158; no. 3 (March), 145-159. 

Cited in Index to Film Periodicals, 1979. Analysis of the films and a portrait.

704  Thiher, Allen, 'The Existentialist Moment: Bresson's 'Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé': The Semiotics of Grace', in The Cinematic Muse: Critical Studies in the History of French Cinema, Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 130-142. 

Broad discussion of the film, the cultural oppositions that endow it with significance, and the cultural and cinematic codes that create it.

705  Zischler, Hans, 'Filme: Der Andrang, der in die Glieder fährt', Filmkritik 23, no. 1 (January), 30-31 

Positive, very impressionistic review of Le Diable probablement that emphasizes its creative use of sound.




706  Browne, Nick, 'Film Form/Voice Over: Bresson's 'Diary of a Country Priest'', Yale French Studies 60, 233-240. 

An analysis of the compositional role of voice-over, discussing the first-person speech of the priest in opposition to the "scene" narrated by the sound film, which includes the characters, dialogue, and camera work. The character of the priest is isolated by a "narrative framework" created by his constant presence on the screen and a complex system of voice-over "pastness" and "presentness" that motivates camera movement in closer to the priest. This isolation is another facet of the general, distanced stance of the film, which is Bresson's "characterization of spirituality."

707  Daney, Serge, 'The Organ and the Vacuum Cleaner: On Robert Bresson's 'The Devil Probably', Little Caesar (Los Angeles), 10, 127-130. 

Partial translation (the first of three sections) of entry 654.

708  Dempsey, Michael, 'Despair Abounding: The Recent Films of Robert Bresson', Film Quarterly 34, no. 1 (Fall), 2-14. 

In an analysis of the "color films," Dempsey attempts to prove that Bresson's ideas have "changed drastically; . . . [each film] conveys little or no sense of an afterlife; each implies a God who is either silent or non-existent." The proof relies on strict theological definitions of God, suicide, predestination, and free will. The final section contrasts Quatre nuits d'un rêveur with Bresson's "despairing" other films, but offers no explanation of its relationship to them. In conclusion, Dempsey expresses the hope that Bresson's "love for film . . . remains stronger than any despair."

709  Houston, Beverle, and Kinder, Marsha, 'Experience and Behavior in 'Red Desert' and 'Une Femme Douce': A View from Inside Out', In Self and Cinema: A Transformalist Perspective, Pleasantville, N.Y.: Redgrave, 191-241. 

Extensive analysis of Une Femme douce and the woman's position as a victim "trapped in the limbo between experience and behavior." The relevance of many of the film's motifs to this theme of entrapment and freedom is illustrated, and the ideas of B. F. Skinner and R. D. Laing are used to project two opposing interpretations of the charac ter's suicide. "While Laing would be . . . useful . . . in illuminating the pervasive mystifications of her actions, a Skinnerian might argue that this very quality results from a muddled understanding of behavior inherent in the literature of freedom and dignity."

710  Roud, Richard, 'Robert Bresson', In Cinema: A Critical Dictionary: The Major Filmmakers Vol. 1., New York, Viking, 141-153. 

Roud argues that Bresson's first five films "about redemption" are superior to the next seven about "despair and suicide" because of the theme.


711  Bernard, Renée, 'Pickpocket', Paris: IDHEC [1960?], 7 pp., [Fiche filmographique, no. 198.] 

Synopsis; list of sequences; dramatic analyses of the themes, characters, and structure; and cinematic analyses of the images, rhythms, and sound. Bernard generally sees Pickpocket as the most abstract of Bresson's films.

712  Briot, René, 'Le 'Journal d'un curé de campagne'', Paris, IDHEC [1952?], 12 pp. [Fiche filmographique, no. 117.] 

Biographical sections on Bernanos and Bresson, synopsis, list of sequences, character and dramatic analysis of the novel and the film, and a description of the forty-five minutes that was cut by Bresson from the final version. The criticism is primarily a review of the critical reaction to the film in 1951.

713  Chalonge, Christian de, 'Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé', Paris, IDHEC [1956?], 14 pp. [Fiche filmographique, no. 146.] 

Synopsis, list of sequences, dramatic and character analyses, and cinematic analyses of the editing, acting, music, sets, composition, and sound. "The film documents, without meandering or contortions . . . the ways and results of a willful push towards the exterior."

714  Fong, Monique, 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', Paris, IDHEC [1950?], 13 pp. [Fiche filmographique, no. 10.] 

Background information, synopsis, list of sequences, analyses of the story and the characters, criticism on the tragic realm, and the appearance of tragedy in the dialogue and the images.

715  Henrich, André, 'Les Anges du péché', Paris, IDHEC [1950?], 7 Pp. [Fiche filmographique, no. 1.] 

Synopsis, list of sequences, and dramatic and visual analyses, all in outline form.

716  Pichonnier, Catherine, 'Le Procès de Jeanne d'Arc', Paris, IDHEC [1962?], 32 pp. Fiche filmographique, no. 184.] 

Overview of the contemporary critical reaction to the film; a list of sequences; dramatic and visual analyses; long section of questions about the film, answered with quotations from Bresson's interviews; and long analysis of the cinematographic elements: sound, dialogue, sound effects, music, editing, camera movement, composition, costumes, sets, and acting. Pichonnier's excellent and thorough analysis emphasizes Joan's private knowledge of grace and the inability of philosophy, history, or the court to understand and explain it.


717  Browne, Nick and Hillier, Jim (eds.), Cahiers Du Cinema, 1969-1972: The Politics of Representation, Harvard University Press, 1989, 384 pp.. 

Includes translations into English of entries 455, 508.



718  Giraudoux, Jean, 'Le Film de Béthanie; texte de "Les Anges du péché'. After the scenario by R. P. Brückberger, Robert Bresson, and Jean Giraudoux. Paris, Gallimard, 190 pp. 

Screenplay, including a few minor sequences that are not in the film.


Several filmmakers list their favorite films, including Bresson, who apologizes for not citing ten, saying that he rarely goes to the cinema: (1) The Gold Rush, (2) City Lights, (3) The Battleship Potemkin, (4) Brief Encounter, (5) The Bicycle Thief, (6) Man of Aran (7) Louisiana Story.
719  'The Best Films of Our Life (suite et fin)', Cahiers du Cinéma, no. 12 (May): 71.  


720*  Bresson, Robert, 'Diario di un Curato di Campagne'. Edited by Antonio Petrucci. Rome: Edizioni Filmcritica, 111 pp. 

Cited in the Dictionary Catalog of the Research Libraries of New York Public Library. Script for Journal d'un curé de campagne.

721  'Le Rythme vient de l'intérieur'. In Regards neufs sur le cinéma. Edited by Jacques Chevallier. Paris: Editions du Seuil, p. 63. 

Two paragraphs reprinted from an interview.


722  Bresson, Robert, 'Résponse de Robert Bresson à François Letterier', Cahiers du Cinéma no. 67 (January) :1. 

It is not clear to what this short, hostile "response" refers. Leterrier played the part of Fontaine in Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé.

723  Cocteau, Jean, 'Dialogue'., Cahiers du Cinéma no. 75 (October) :l6-23; no. 76 (November): 28-35; no. 77 (December): 23-33. 

The dialogue from Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne with place designations added by the editor. According to both Cocteau and Bresson, most of it was written by Bresson. It varies at several points from the film, as well as from the full script published in L'Avant-Scène (entry 737), particularly in the ending.


724  Bresson, Robert, 'C'est l'intérieur qui commande', "Les Rapports d'images." In L'Art du cinéma. Edited by Pierre L'Herminier. Paris: Seghers, pp. 111, 599-603. 

Two sections of excerpts from interviews.


725  Bresson, Robert, 'Proçès de Jeanne d'Arc', Film . Paris: Julliard, 130 pp. 

The dialogue from the film, with place designations.


726  'Qui? Pourquoi? Comment?', Cahiers du Cinéma nos. 161-162, (January): 23. 

Statements from several filmmakers, including Bresson, in response to a questionnaire on financing, production, and exhibition--difficulties, hopes, and so forth.


727  Bresson, Robert, 'Baltasar al Azar', Guion Completo, Translated by Vincente Molina Foix. Temas de Cine, no. 41. Madrid: Ediciones Film Ideal, 61 pp. 

Spanish translation of the script of Au hasaid Balthazar.

728728  'Sceneggiatura Originale e Integrale del Film Au hasard, Balthazar'. Cineforum, no. 56 (October):443-513. 
Italian translation of the script.


729  Bresson, Robert, 'Témoignage', In Amedée Ayfre, interprete de l'image. Edited by Alain Baudelier. Paris: Editions Fleurus, p. 88. 

Bresson's testimony to the quality of the critical work of Abbé Ayfre: "His premature death deprives us of one of the most penetrating judges of cinematography."

730  Dialoghi e sceneggiatura del film Mouchette', Cineforum, no. 67 (September):543-587. 

Italian translation of the script.

731  'Notes sur le cinématographe', Revue d'Esthétique 20, nos. 2-3 (April-September): 113-l4. 

Extracts from Notes sur le cinématographe, entry 735.


732  Bresson, Robert, 'Mouchette', L'Avant-Scène, no. 80 (April): 1-39. 

Script of the film.

733  'Vers un livre blanc du cinéma français', Cahiers du Cinéma, nos. 200-201 (April-May): 77. 

In the politically charged atmosphere of 1968, several filmmakers, including Bresson, respond to a questionnaire on the role of the state in the film industry, the influence of television, and the need for more control by filmmakers over their work.


734  Bresson, Robert, 'Témoignage', In Cahiers Jean Cocteau--3. Edited by Jean Denoél, Paris: Gallimard, pp. 23-24. 

Tribute to Cocteau: "Our conceptions of cinematography were not the same . . . [but] our friendship was cemented by the fact that we both gave all our souls to our films."


735  Bresson Robert, 'Notes sur le cinématographe, Paris: Gallimard, 139 pp. 

Translated into English: entry 738. See enry 738 for annotation. Reviews: Variety (7 May 1975); Cinématogrape no.. 12 (1975); Écran no. 40 (1975): Times Literary Suplement (9 January 1976); Cinéma 76, no. 206 (1976); Séguences, no. 83 (1976); Chaplin no. 2 (1977).


736  Bresson, Robert, 'Bressonisms', Sight and Sound 6, no. 1 (Winter): 21. 

Page of excerpts from Notes on Cinematography (entry 738).

737  Bresson, Robert, 'Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne', L'Avant-Scène, no. 196 (November): 7-74. 

Script of the film, including a numbered list and description of each shot.


738  Bresson, Robert, 'Notes on Cinematography', Translated by Jonathan Griffin. New York: Urizen Books, 72 p. 

Translation of entry 735. Notes that Bresson made to himself during the years 1950-1964 concerning his work. They are rarely more than a sentence or two long and bear a striking resemblance in format and tone to similar published notes by Paul Valéry. One-fourth of the entries concern Bresson's ideas and expectations in regard to his models. Many of these are admonitions to himself always to be aware of their uniqueness and work to render it on the screen: "Model. Don't just reduce or abolish the gap between you and him. Deep exploration." The rest of the approximately four hundred etntries are more or less equally divided among several different, but closely related subjects that dovetail to describe Bresson's philosophy of applied directness and truth, and the resultant simplicity. The first of these subject groups is his distinction between cinema, or "photographed theater" (the 'failure' of which can be seen in the "star-system") and cinematography films (which are "emotional, not representational"). His thoughts are often on the commercial restrictions of the former: "The future of cinematography belongs to a new race of young solitaires who will shoot films by putting their last cent into it and not let themselves be taken in by the material routines of the trade." The second group discusses matters of technique: framing, repetition, fragmentation, movement, and especially, the use of and the relationship between sound and image. Many of these take the form of commands to himself: "Don't show all sides of the objects.. A Margin of indefiniteness." The third subject is what he calls "transformation", the exchanges that occur among the elements that he has carefully created during the shooting: "Don't run after poetry. It penetrates unaided through the joins (ellipses)." The fourth group indicates Bresson's concern with attitude, which is a combination of openness ("Be as ignorant of what you are going to catch as a fisherman is of what is at the end of his fishing rod,") and the strictest tenacity ("To forge for oneself iron laws, if only in order to obey or disobey them with difficulty . . . . Empty the pond to get the fish") The last group consists of reminders to himself that only he can judge the quality and purpose of his art, that only his taste rules and his feeling decides: "Everything brought back to what suffices you . . . . It is useless and silly to work especially for a public. I cannot try what I am making, at the moment of making it, except on myself. Besides, all that matters is to make well." Reviews: Library Journal (15 January 1977); New York Times Book Review (16 October 1977); Choice (November 1977); Filmmaker's Newsletter, no. 8 (1977); Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism no. 3 (1977); Take-One no. 10 (1977).

End of File

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