High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.
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."
Balthazar the donkey is, in a way, the ideal Bressonian actor; completely free of affect or extraneous action, saintly in their stoicism, simply existing rather than performing. While the people around him get caught up in matters of the heart, of the mind, and of the law, Balthazar simply is, plugging away for mensch and asshole alike for little more than a barn roof and a bushel of hay, and often not even that. Balthazar is the personification of Strength, deserving of his laurels.
Hey asshole! Leave that donkey alone
All in all you're just another jerk in the world
Movies have the ability to create empathy and few people have truly mastered this aspect of film making as Robert Bresson has.
Following the life of a donkey, from birth to death, is a rather unconventional premise, but this story a profound impact and is purely heartbreaking.
Balthazar is never anthropomorphized nor does his life as a farm animal gets romanticised, he is just a donkey. He goes along and accepts whatever happens to him, whether people treat him well or abusive. There simply is no other option for him. Oddly his life mirrors that of Maria, the girl who named him, asking the question if we as humans have the ability to truly become the masters of our own fate of if we get pushed around by forces beyond our control as Balthazar does.
Hands down, best donkey POV flick ever.
As we observe the life of Balthazar the donkey and, tangentially, the girl who named him it dawns on us how similar they are; the quality of their lives controlled and determined by others, even though one would expect that the human girl would exert more agency in her own life.
Also beautifully photographed.
Viewed On TCM
Translation: Aimlessly or By Chance
A pet donkey is baptized Balthazar but his life would be anything but blessed. The girl that baptized Balthazar, her life would be anything but blessed.
Nothing in life is guaranteed whether you are a girl or a donkey.
In Ebert's words: "Robert Bresson is one of the saints of the cinema, and "Au Hasard Balthazar" (1966) is his most heartbreaking prayer. "
There's an inherent contradiction at the core of the films of Robert Bresson that has always troubled me, I've never been able to quite get my head around it, that being their both seemingly vast density and also their almsot total sparseness. Because of this Bresson is a director I'm eager to re-visit as I age and mature more in my understanding of film. But here's what I can pull from it right now.
There is a lot I can appreciate from this film right now, first of all being the millieu, there's a real sense of place here, but it seems to be some kind of hybrid time period of both post-war Europe and the dirty pastoral (Think Pasolini)…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…