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Robert Bresson : A Spiritual Style in Film - Joseph Cunneen

Robert Bresson

A Spiritual Style in Film

Paperback Published: 19th April 2004
ISBN: 9780826416056
Number Of Pages: 199

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Although Robert Bresson is widely regarded by movie critics and students of the cinema as one of the greatest directors of the twentieth century, his films are largely unknown and are rarely shown in the English-speaking world. Nonetheless, Susan Sontag has called Bresson "the master of the reflective mode in film."Martin Scorsese suggested that a young filmmaker should ask: "Is it as tough as Bresson?... Is [meaning] as ruthlessly pared down, as direct, as unflinching in its gaze at aspects of life I might feel more comfortable ignoring?" Questions that every reader of this book and every viewer of Bresson's films will also ask.Joseph Cunneen's book, now in paperback, introduces Bresson's movies to a broader audience, assesses thirteen of his most significant films in the context of detailed plot summaries, vivid descriptions of characters and settings, and perceptive, jargon-free insights into the director's execution, intention, and technique. Each of these films in its own way illustrates what Joseph Cunneen calls Bresson's "spiritual style." Though not necessarily focused on the explicitly religious, they illustrate two complementary principles: on the negative side, the rejection of what the director called "photographed theater" with its artificiality and dependence on celebrity performers. On the more positive side, as Bresson himself expressed it, the conviction that, "The supernatural is only the real rendered more precise; real things seen close up."

Industry Reviews

"Cunneen clearly nails the spiritual effect of his subject's style. Though Bresson won't promise happy endings, 'his austere, clear-eyed cinematography fosters a deep understanding of the grandeur and pain of our common humanity.' Recommended."

Acknowledgmentsp. 9
A Demanding Artist Who Respects His Audiencep. 11
Bresson before Bresson: Angels of Sin and The Ladies of the Bois de Boulognep. 25
"All Is Grace"--The Diary of a Country Priestp. 44
The Spirit Blows through Prison: A Man Escapedp. 58
A Ballet of Hands: Pickpocketp. 71
A Saint Jousts with Her Judges: The Trial of Joan of Arcp. 84
The Donkey as Witness: Au hasard Balthasarp. 97
The Purity of Rebellion: Mouchettep. 110
Marriage without Communication: A Gentle Womanp. 122
The Education of a Romantic: Four Nights of a Dreamerp. 135
The End of Knighthood: Lancelot of the Lakep. 145
Apocalypse Now: The Devil Probablyp. 156
A Murderous Rage for Money: L'Argentp. 167
Images in a Certain Orderp. 178
Filmographyp. 190
Bibliographyp. 196
Bresson Films in Americap. 200
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780826416056
ISBN-10: 0826416055
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 199
Published: 19th April 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.76 x 15.6  x 1.65
Weight (kg): 0.33
Edition Number: 1