Robert Bresson

related topics
{film, series, show}
{theory, work, human}
{church, century, christian}
{war, force, army}
{work, book, publish}
{son, year, death}
{style, bgcolor, rowspan}

Robert Bresson (pronounced [ʁɔbɛʁ bʁɛˈsɔ̃] in French; 25 September 1901 – 18 December 1999) was a French film director known for his spiritual, ascetic style.

Contents

Life and career

Bresson was born at Bromont-Lamothe, Puy-de-Dôme, the son of Marie-Elisabeth (née Clausels) and Leon Bresson.[1] Little is known of his early life and the year of his birth, 1901 or 1907 varies depending on the source. He was educated at Lycée Lakanal à Sceaux, Paris, and turned to painting after graduating.[2] Three formative influences in his early life seem to have a mark on his films - Catholicism, art and his experiences as a prisoner of war.

Initially also a photographer, Bresson made his first short film, Les affaires publiques (Public Affairs) in 1934. During World War II, he spent over a year in a prisoner-of-war camp - an experience which informs Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut (A Man Escaped). In a career that spanned fifty years, Bresson made only 13 feature-length films. This reflects his meticulous approach to the filmmaking process and his non-commercial preoccupations.[citation needed] Difficulty finding funding for his projects was also a factor.

Themes

Bresson's early artistic focus was to separate the language of cinema from the theatre, which often heavily involves the actor's performance to drive the work. With his 'actor-model' technique, Bresson's actors were required to repeat multiple takes of each scene until all semblances of 'performance' were stripped away, leaving a stark effect that registers as both subtle and raw, and one that can only be found in the cinema. Some feel that Bresson's Catholic upbringing and Jansenist belief-system lie behind the thematic structure of most of his films.[3] Recurring themes under this interpretation include salvation, redemption, defining and revealing the human soul, and metaphysical transcendence of a limiting and materialistic world. An example is his 1956 feature A Man Escaped, where a seemingly simple plot of a prisoner of war's escape can be read as a metaphor for the mysterious process of salvation.

Full article ▸

related documents
Acting
Mise en scène
False document
Iris Murdoch
Arcadia (play)
The Road to Mars
Farce
Formula fiction
John Varley (author)
Greg Bear
Ursula K. Le Guin
Alphaville (film)
Strangers and Brothers
René Magritte
Black comedy
Mentat
Jerry Cornelius
Fandom
Paul Lukas
Terms of Endearment
Danielle Fishel
Michael Rosenbaum
Rory McGrath
A World of Difference
Rosemary's Baby
Christine Taylor
Katherine Pulaski
Devon Gummersall
Squire Bancroft
James Burke (science historian)