Video essays exist in a no man's land between film practice and theory. French filmmaker Robert Bresson tried to bridge that divide in his own way. His thirteen terse feature films gained him renown for their almost ascetic style and uncompromising rigor. But Bresson also put pen to paper and theorized about his craft in very succinct aphorisms.
His "Notes sur le cinématographe" is a gem. It offers a window into the mind of a maker who is acutely aware that every artistic choice is also an ideological one. His peculiar directing of actors, his emancipation of sound, his belief in minimalism to achieve maximum effect... It is all spelled out in concise yet expressive maxims.
Here's a director who filled screens with contemplative cinema, and at the same time filled pages with contemplations on his art. This video essay tries to tie those theoretical thoughts to his artistic output. Shots and scenes from Bresson's 1959 classic Pickpocket are overlaid with apt aphorisms. By coupling his precise visuals to his pointed writings, Bresson's words illuminate his film style and vice versa.
On a également créé une version française de cette vidéo. Dans cette version, on a utilisé les aphorismes originaux, tels qu’ils étaient formulés par Bresson lui-même. Vous pourrez regarder la version française ici: vimeo.com/163525114
Please visit filmscalpel.com for detailed credits.
This video was made solely for educational purposes and makes "fair use" of copyrighted material. Fair use is codified at Section 107 of the Copyright Act: Under the fair use doctrine, it is not an infringement to use the copyrighted works of another in some circumstances, such as for commentary, criticism, news reporting, or educational use.