Archive for June 20th, 2012


Copyright © 2012 by James Clark


You could say that Robert Bresson’s pickpocket, Michel, moulders as a rather odious and provocative instance of, if not the entirely unexamined life, the crudely examined life. How different an alert, then, emits from the tale of Bresson’s nameless young priest, in the early film, Diary of a Country Priest (1951)! He would seem to come to us as an instance of the overexamined life, sensitivity to exigencies of love the multiplicity of which has left him so conflicted as to become massively ineffectual.

The two protagonists, however, do seem to sustain a close affinity with one another in regard to pronounced carnal enfeeblement. What with Michel pulleying himself through locales where embarrassment always reigns (his feet apparently never finding cogent traction with earth), and our new Man of the Hour largely using his bicycle for a walker, dressed in a shabby long black cape and a beret which complements his trompe l’oeil presence as an aged widow, the viewer is afforded a portal for engaging the shambles of these lives along lines of a physical challenge sorely neglected and at the basis of the catastrophic relentment informing the narratives. We receive from the incisive rigors of Bresson’s film craft, as driven by distinguished reflective art, a crisis of protracted lurching of someone unable to swim, but still keeping up a semblance of survival. (more…)

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