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."
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.
From here on out I am dispensing with star ratings.
Well this was devastating. First off, Balthazar is a cinematic hero for the ages. I love that donkey. Second of all, Gerard is perhaps my least favourite character in any movie ever. He's a snivelling sack of shit with the world's most punchable face. Who knew that a film about a donkey could be so profound, and that so many shocking and depressing parallels could be found between that donkey and the young woman that loves him? Humans are cruel to animals and cruel to each other, and yet there is something inherently wonderful in how we (and donkeys) soldier on through the kindness and cruelty that life throws at us. Bresson manages to find that sliver of hope and beauty in amongst so much misery. I suspect that if Kenji Mizoguchi made a movie about a donkey, it would look an awful lot like au hasard Balthazar.
Bresson's films defy classification. The French director deconstructs the common expectations of Hollywood cinema and presents the world "as it is" or as he sees it. There is no plot in Au Hasard Balthazar; the camera simply captures the passage of time in relation to the life of a donkey named Balthazar.
While it covers the events in the lives of Balthazar's many owners, there is a focus on the disintegration of a family that adopts him after the first family moves away from the town. What sets the director Bresson apart is that he did not work with actors, but non-professional employees who were supposed to be stripped of their acting, emotions and humanity as commonly conceived. Bresson calls…
It's a bad idea for me to rate this movie at all, because I know it will take a while for me to process what I just watched. I have nothing coherent to say about this film, and I know I will think about it and return to it for decades.
But since this is my diary, written just for me, I want to remind myself that whatever emotional impact this movie had will forever be muted by the knowledge that no TV show or movie entering our living room has driven our dog as batshit crazy as Au Hasard Balthazar. The combination of beautiful b&w cinematography, Bresson's abrupt and striking approach to sound, and many, many braying scenes repeatedly sent our poor puppy into orbit.
So for me, a provisional 4 stars until next viewing. For Ranger the dog, Bresson's masterpiece gets...1 star.
Robert Bresson's donkey show Au Hasard Balthazar is an exercise in abuse and humiliation. Unlike most donkey shows, though, there's plenty of beauty here, too. Telling the parallel stories of a teenage French girl and the donkey she raises from a foal, both animal and human protagonists are seemingly made to suffer, but in this deeply Catholic film, their suffering gives them a semblance of grace. As animal performances go, the donkey or donkeys playing Balthazar turns in a memorable one. More than anything, Au Hasard Balthazar makes the viewer want to go to a farm and watch a donkey laze around all day, happy and content. While the film's ethos is too religious by half, when that ethos is as well communicated as it is here, one can see the appeal. B+
Full review at www.mediocremovie.club/exclusives/au-hasard-balthazar
Often frustrating, but always interesting, Au Hasard Balthazar is a singular film that keeps you invested simply because you're desperately curious where it's going to take you. The final sequence is devastating because all that comes before it is finally given some kind of relevance. All of a sudden, we understand what Bresson is getting at, and it takes an interesting film and makes it transcendent.