Archive for July 25th, 2012


Copyright © 2012 by James Clark


        Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket and Diary of a Country Priest broach many compelling subjects, not the least of which being that humankind is faced with enormous hindrances against lucidity, dignity and joy. The crushing gravitational assaults we have witnessed there (that is to say, the enervation) hint that to come through this with any sense of gusto you had better be on your toes. An adjunct to that situation is the importance of assistance by wise and loving counsel. The activation of Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête in those works insinuates a rich and necessary dream of mutual discovery and equilibrium in the presence of another whose rightness comes as a marvel. Implicit in that primal content of nature is the special vulnerability and neediness of children along those lines. If such a slippery dynamic proves a virtual killer for the fit and the bright, where does it leave those not yet fully equipped for the firestorm? A third film by Bresson, namely, Mouchette (1967), engages head-on this crisis of blighted regeneration in nature. Extra testimony to its compellingness is provided by Terrence Malick’s choosing it for the subject of his first film, Badlands, which we’ll tackle two weeks from now. (more…)

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