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... Written by Michael Brooke
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."
Robert Bresson's cinematic masterwork.
Struggles with Balthazar: A Journey Into Bewilderment
Nothing like a little Bresson to make me wish I’d actually paid attention in that film class I took almost two decades ago.
Art is subjective. And thank god for that, because this last-ditch defense of the completely baffled stands as the only thing protecting my fragile ego from the crushing defeat handed to me by Au Hasard Balthazar. I'll admit it: I do not understand this film. For me, discussing Balthazar is like someone with prosopagnosia speaking to a police sketch artist: I can tell you the general outline, but the details are all an amorphous blur. Oh, and there’s a donkey. Good luck with the investigation.
Not to say I…
OVERALL RATING: 7/10 or C-
Very disappointing movie with poor acting and writing. It looks good at least.
I was a bit worried going in to this. I'm not at all good with films with violence against animals. Humans, I'm great with. It's all that informed consent thing that I'm in to.
The last film I watched with extensive animal nasties in it was Amores Perros. That was way worse.
Au Hasard Balthazar, despite having hardly a single character in it with a single positive personality point, is almost sweet. The donkey is so adorable (admit it - donkeys are seriously cute) that I kinda forgot about the filmmaking part of the film.
This is a terrible review. I mean, my reviews are more gonzo than anything else, but this is especially unhelfpul. I shall stop now and give my standard "I have nothing to say about this film, but I enjoyed it" 3 and a half stars.
Often cited as one of the greatest films ever made, I was intrigued that I had never heard of it so relished the chance to see it.
The story of a donkey in rural France, it is passed from owner to owner some more caring than others and spread over some amount of time. We also have Marie, a young woman who is the one person the donkey receives any real love. Yet she is caught up with the wrong people and the donkey is left to suffer at the hands of others. The film looks great and the donkey is a real star but I struggled with some elements to the film. It was at times confusing with the…
As a mediation of human suffering, Au Hasard Balthasar contains a surprising dearth of actual suffering. With the exception of the rape of Marie at the end, the 'misery' protrayed is a fairly random collection of banal actions whose stakes are low. Even the rape is treated with such detachment (as is everything else) that I'm left with more numbness than sadness.
And maybe that's the point, except that I've heard others talk about the profound emotional impact this movie has on them - about being devastated by the last shots, for example.
Overall, I guess I'm not buying it - the affected detachment of the acting, the disjointed editing, the clumsily foleyed sound, the affected melancholy piano tune, the blunt Christian symbolism, etc. They are all obviously intentional, but they do not add up to a masterpiece. More of an interesting experiment that doesn't work more than it works.
Long considered by many to be the director's masterpiece, Au Hasard Balthazar is the culmination of my exploration of Bresson, and while there is no doubt regarding the artistry of the film, its masterful use of sound and editing, I did not find the film to be the transcendent experience so many others have professed.
What's the issue here? The film is near universally-praised, and while intellectually I can see the metaphor Bresson utilizes, I don't necessarily see anything profound about the animal's sufferings and death, nor the tribulations of Marie, to be any profound comment on human suffering.
I can only come away with two contradictory feelings regarding this strange film. One, that it is so dense and abstruse…
My first Bresson! This is a truly depressing film. It tells the story of a young girl Marie as well as that of her donkey, Balthazar and their viscous mistreatment by...people. I don't want to reduce this film to misery porn so I won't, but it's pretty bleak. It is powerful though and it looks amazing with beautifully framed shots. It also features a touching performance by the donkey. There, I said it.
It's interesting how the fact that nobody is acting helps the film build an aura of sadness and depression, but this lack of acting also made me get bored and lose interest from the movie after a while, specially as the movie gives a very mild portrayal of suffering. At the end, it feels like the monkey should have suffered much, much more than he actually does in order for the film to be powerful. The ending is very beautiful, though.