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."
by /u/montypython22 on Reddit
“Robert Bresson is one of the saints of the cinema, and "Au Hasard Balthazar" (1966) is his most heartbreaking prayer.” –Roger Ebert, who placed "Au Hasard Balthazar" in his Great Movies pantheon in 2004
Yes, but when you declare somebody a saint, doesn't that pin a decidedly Catholic air to that somebody? To be sure, Robert Bresson’s favorite subjects do overlap with the problems of the Catholics: suffering, redemption, sacrifice, bearing up one’s soul. However, these aren't exclusive to the Catholic tradition. Critics as diverse as Ebert, Richie, Sarris, Kael, and Rosenbaum have all pointed out different things that constitute what they feel is “the magic of Bresson”, but none of them seem to acknowledge the…
I must say, I did have some troubles following the plot of this film, but otherwise, this is both austere and vibrant, minimalist and kaleidoscopic. With striking compositions, excellent acting (especially on the part of the donkey), beautiful use of Schubert, unconventional story, and a uniquely spiritual vision from Bresson, this is truly one of the great films, and one that I must watch again.
Wow, I hated this. I have a tendency to temper my opinion on 'canonical' films like this because I feel like I'm missing critical context or something, but in this case I just want to express that watching this was slow torture.
So many stories about cruelty, but I've never encountered one that strikes upon the utter needlessness of it quite like this. A deceptively simple movie filled with flawed characters who do not act as codified symbols but are instead human beings presented in all their naked, bawling ugliness.
The girl and the donkey are equally innocent. Everyone sees the girl as inherently flawed for the crime of being a human, and everyone sees the donkey as a simple beast. Yet both are beaten for the crime of being themselves.
I'm very hit-or-miss with Bresson, but I think he's best when his religious inquiries serve as brief inroads into something far bigger. In one scene, the donkey joins a circus, and…
One day, I'll hopefully write something intelligent/insightful about this towering achievement of cinema and empathy. On that day, I'll be able to objectively analyze each frame without losing my composure (read: crying my eyes out).
Till then, trust Godard when he says this is “the world in an hour and a half”.
I remember watching this for the first time on a beach vacation. It's so weird, I've almost forgotten about this movie entirely. It doesn't instantly pop up in my head when I think of Bresson the way that L'Argent or Mouchette or Pickpocket do, and even though it's been revelatory to me both times I've seen it, it kind of melts into my memory and hibernates there. And so when I saw that this was the next movie to log on letterboxd I just got a little burst of joy to be reminded that it even exists, and that it's as gently beautiful as it is, and that I've seen it and have wept with it. Very happy man right now!
The story of a donkey sufficed to a life of abuse and neglect. He watches as humans struggle with similar abuses but, naturally, doesn't comprehend why. The donkey's life is meant to parallel the life of his original owner, Marie, but in that regard, the donkey parallels the audience experience. We see these people suffering, struggling to mend their flaws. Normally, we'd empathize, but we don't. This makes for a strange experience. Not a very rewarding experience, at least initially, but the lack of manipulative storytelling techniques make it hard to dismiss.
Godard once called this "The whole world in an hour and a half." I like that, but have to admit I don't think I'll really fully understand this until I'm 40. That said, the ending, just,
Through the eyes of a donkey.
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…