This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
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."
Did not finish - must return to.
A heart-wrenching and unapologetically gorgeous parallel of human suffering and animal suffering. Robert Bresson is one of the most impressive and innovative writer/directors from the 20th century, which is most apparent here. The level of sadness explored is grueling. This was my first foreign film, and it completely changed my outlook on life and film as an art form. 9/10.
Beautifully shot, but far from an easy watch. The way the titular character is treated very poignantly portrays humanity's monstrous nature.
Every time I watch a new Bresson movie, I think "this will be the one that makes me love Bresson."
So... I guess Mouchette will be the one that makes me love Bresson...
Probably the best animal movie ever, however low that bar, but I wasn’t expecting for that title to be taken to its literal extreme. This really does feel random, not a movie so much as a collection of scenes that vaguely involve a donkey. Marie’s assault should be earth shattering but Bresson’s unwillingness to build to that moment, treating it like any other cut to black, equalizes it to the other minor tragedies. Incredibly, the donkey really does carry all the emotional heft, evidence of Bresson’s mastery never more apparent than that gut wrenching final shot. But if there’s a point to be had about humans (the Gerard character is an absurd creation), it’s oddly illogical, its lesson building rigged…
Strangest film I've seen in a while, but I still loved it...?
I think that's the first time I've ever identified with a donkey.
There's a lot of 5/5ish material in the first half, but it only got wierder afterward. Not that I'm complaining.
The one and only flaw here is that the acting isn't exactly prioritized, but that's only a minor setback.
Robert Bresson is unmatched in his feats of unconventional filmmaking.
As you can tell, I'm really thinking hard about the meaning behind all of this. I don't know what, but there's definitely a message below all of it.
But I really can't stop thinking of Schindler's List though...
One of the most depressing and soul-crushing films ever made. In a good way.
Well, this one’s gonna be an oddball review. I don’t usually have too many strong opinions that differ with those of the general public. I’m often quite an agreeable movie-watcher. More often than not I like films that get high praise. But Robert Bresson’s 1966 film Au Hasard Balthazar was one of the worst, if not the worst, highly-regarded film I’ve ever seen.
Let me give you some background, in case you are unfamiliar with this film’s reputation. It currently holds a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s in the Great Movies section of Roger Ebert’s reviews. It was ranked the 15th best film of all time on the Sight and Sound critics’ poll. It is often thought of…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.