This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
Au Hasard Balthazar
The sad life and death of Balthazar, a donkey, from an idyllic childhood surrounded by loving children, through adulthood as a downtrodden beast of burden. His life is paralleled with that of the girl who named him, and as she is humiliated by her sadistic lover, so he is beaten by his owner. But he finds a kind of peace when he is employed by an old miller who thinks he is a reincarnated saint.
Robert Bresson has an insane 7 films on the Sight and Sound list.
Now, I may or may not possess the Malick gene, the jury is still out, but having watched two Bressons now (this and Pickpocket) I'm almost certain I do not possess a Bresson gene.
Maybe...completely devoid of the Bresson gene.
This is, without a doubt, the main director that is so critically praised and universally loved and I cannot, for the life of me, understand why. To put it bluntly - these two films are shit. I know I'll catch some flack for that statement, but I stand by it wholeheartedly...for now. Maybe, down the road I'll come to see Au Hasard Balthazar in a new light.…
Please, please, please just read Matthew Ekstrom's review. I am far too teary to even think about writing anything about this film. Plus, I don't think that I could even write anything as perfect and beautiful as his review. 'Au Hasard Balthazar' is a truly powerful experience and one of the most beautiful films ever made. Now excuse me while I go cry my eyes out.
DonkeyHood! the life story of Balthazar the donkey and people around him. Masterfully directed by Robert Bresson (director of one of my favorite films ' A Man Escaped') This another beautifully shot masterpiece. Its not easy film to watch, its shows the lust, weakness, greed, cruelty and hope of humans, deals with life and death, which is very heartbreaking and unsettling. Most of the characters in this film are assholes, especially Gerard, this will put people off. The last image stays in your head.
A very slow, very moving take on the burden that is life, Bresson's classic assigns a good deal of its audiences' sympathies to the simple eyes of a donkey. In the hands of a great director he makes for a brilliant protagonist, and that's exactly what Bresson proves himself (this is my first of his). There's a particularly majestic scene that sees our hero exchanging glances with a series of caged circus animals; it's impossible to describe with words just how much it affects you. Bresson has the ability to imbue his scenes with remarkably underscored meaning, from the emotional intensity behind every glance to the many religious parallels the story draws. I'm not sure I was quite as open to it as I should have been—certainly a fault of my mood rather than the film—but the achievement here is undeniably stunning.
Part of my 5 Directors x 5 Unseen Films (5) challenge.
This is not the easy movie it might appear to be on the surface. It is much more complex than the life of a donkey named Balthazar. It is an allegory with religious overtones. It is a parable of man's inhumanity to man. It is a mystery, a caution and a joke. So you can hardly be wrong about how you interpret it. It is all things to all viewers depending upon how they watch it.
Writer-director Robert Bresson uses the donkey to give us a focal point as he explores the complexity of relationships in a small French border town. We see the girl Marie (Anne Wiazemsky) as…
"Au Hasard Balthazar" explores the unfathomable cruelty of human existence and the cowardice that creates a failure to love. And yet at the same time, this film, which reveals everything I care to know of evil, seems to spring forth from a boundless well of empathy within its creator.
This is the work of a truly great artist, perhaps the great film artist. I cannot imagine watching it and coming away unchanged.
"Besides, he's a saint."
One of the saddest things I've ever seen.
Well, that was devastating. I'm sad now.
Bresson's heartbreaking gem makes a 50 year anniversary today, and of course I need to talk about one of the most painful experiences ever brought to the screen.
We follow the suffered life of a donkey, mistreated by almost every single human being around him, he meets Marie, the daughter of a farmer who pass by similar pains.
The film is hopeless about human beings, it sees them as they really are: cruel and heartless, making things sometimes only for the sake of pleasure.
Oftenly considered as a sister piece to my favorite Bresson, Mouchette (1967), both films uses a lot metaphors (almost always relating to pain) of how humans can be sick.
But why Au Hasard Balthazar is considered…
Beautiful cinematography and pretty good acting. Original story or stories that intersect with the life of Balthazar. But I can't say I found the movie overly interesting...
Seeing the mess of all the lives around the animal from the perspective of the donkey. Cutting into the stories of the people after many of the major events have happened causes an interesting method of jarring the viewer.
The sadistic "boyfriend" was very difficult to watch. I much preferred scenes about the other characters just because they were easier to watch and enjoy.
I feel like none of the actors every changed their facial expressions. No change in emotion on almost anyone, no matter what the scene.
Honestly, I really don't have that Bresson gene, if there is one.
This one isn't as unbelievably boring as Pickpocket, but I sure as hell wouldn't watch it again.
What a cute donkey, though.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Eu pensei que ia gostar mais, mas achei um filme incrível, mesmo assim. Eu estranhei o método do Bresson de narrar a história mas, no final das contas, Balthazar ficou comigo aos o filme como poucos personagens ficam. É um filme belíssimo e, mesmo que eu não tenha conseguido ter o mínimo de empatia pela Marie, a jornada que Balthazar faz até perece um texto bíblico. No final, Bresson parece filmar muito mais o que ocorre entre ações, e num filme como esse claramente foi a opção certa. Fica em paz, Balthazar, tu é um santo.
Eu fiquei com medo de desgostar do filme por causa da crueldade animal mas, gente, essas reclamações não são feitas vendo o filme, certo?…
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