All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
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.
An incredibly sad film about the suffering and pain a girl and her donkey must endure at the hands of man!
It was extremely difficult to watch! The extent of cruelty man is capable of inflicting on other living beings and creatures is absolutely heartbreaking!
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.
"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."
Those faces. Those hands. Those humans.
(Even the donkey.)
This was one of the most disappointing movie watching experiences of my life. I'm just as much a traditionalist as any good cinephile - I like my Welles, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Godard (in doses), Fellini, Ozu, Kurosawa, Bergman, and Dreyer just as much as the next person. So, there was absolutely no good reason I wouldn't like Bresson. I'm more than willing to give his other films a shot, but I must admit that my entry into his work (his oft-lauded opus) left me unmoved. Dreyer does religion better, Godard improved on Bresson's innovative style, and Pixar has made me care more for animals than Balthazar (sorry, I'm sure that's blasphemous). I'll revisit it in a few years I suppose.
My newborn daughter and I sat down for her first film, one Godard called "the world in an hour and a half”. She wanted to start with something French and challenging...and mostly just slept on my chest.
It's a really great film and I'm not sure how I missed that on a previous viewing. The plot is often implied rather than stated outright, but safe to say that the girl Marie meets a pretty gnarly end.
It's all here, profound beauty mixed with a grim story. Bresson likes to hold his camera on rugged surfaces as his characters continually walk through door ways. Any other director would have cut much earlier, so maybe the key to Bresson's cinema is in this reoccurring shot. Or maybe he really likes doors.
Great concept and idea for a film, but ultimately poorly executed. And yes I did get the point that Bresson was trying to make. It just had no impact at all thanks to the rather awkward style of storytelling and acting.
Or maybe just 4deep2me???? H-hah... Nah sorry, I'm pretty sure I won't like this movie. Not ever.
Bresson might just be the hardest filmmaker to appreciate, even harder than, say, Ozu or Dreyer, the other two names of Paul Schrader's book Transcendental Style in Film.
Following the disappointment and frustration of A Man Escaped and Pickpocket, I did my fair share of reading to make my next Bresson viewing less of a bore. I watched Au Hasard Balthazar on a big screen, with no distractions, and with as little expectations as possible to allow his odd, almost-contrarian style of filmmaking to spellbind me and pull me in entirely.
I'm sad to say it didn't work. The complete elimination of acting and the deliberate lack of visual stimuli just doesn't sit well with me, a likely consequence of…
Perhaps I'm just a callused bastard, but I had a lot of trouble getting into this one. I've read a few favorable reviews and about Bresson's methods in dealing with actors, but I'm just not seeing the results that others seem to. And where did that donkey learn to act?
Hopefully I have more luck when viewing A Man Escaped, which I'm told is a more accessible film.
Opening credits: In between pieces of Schubert, the braying of a donkey is heard—the interruption of birth. A key facet of Bresson’s cinema is the moment of release, of brief escape from the otherwise ubiquitous and quotidian suffering of life; the close-up of the priest’s smiling face in Diary, Joan’s crying in Trial of Joan, the ending of A Man Escaped, and the beginning and the end in this film are all potent examples of this brief moment of bliss. It’s a very catholic idea, I suppose, what with that religions ideas of suffering and release after death (supposedly every episode in the donkey’s life represents the seven deadly sins).
In Balthatzar, Bresson takes on the concept of the model…
One of Robert Bresson's many masterpieces, Au Hasard Balthazar finds and exposes the intricacies of each living thing's pathos. Nothing is out of bounds for this spiritual exploration of life's inevitable and inescapable struggle against fate and adversity. Bresson shoots his actor's hands, feet, legs, back, etc. as often as he shoots their faces. Instead of the camera always capturing someone's facial reactions, his camera follows every twitch and movement from any part of the body, as well as the areas of uneasy stillness.
Robert Bresson is such a brilliant storyteller, exclusively through imagery, that dialogue is truly an afterthought, you could even say it is optional. Since this could easily be a silent film, and the dialogue is purely…
A film I can honestly say I just don't get. I'm sure there are plenty of thematic undertones but I'm not familiar enough with Christianity to remark on it in an interesting way. I usually don't have a problem with the way Bresson shoots actors, stripping them of all emotions till they're just saying the lines, but here I found it impossible to invest in the characters because they felt like blank slates with nothing going on underneath.