All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Michel is released from jail after serving a sentence for thievery. His mother dies and he resorts to pickpocketing as a means of survival.
So after the overwhelming satisfaction I found with Bresson's A Man Escaped, I immediately dove into his next chronological work Pickpocket. With a brisk 75 minute running time and an intriguing premise, I expected to have the same response that I had with his previous work. Whilst I didn't have the immediate affection for this film as I had for A Man Escaped, I have wrestled with it more after the fact to the point that it is showing it's true colours and I am very eager to watch it again.
With Bresson, one must adjust the way they read and understand film, and it helps to recognise his techniques. He throws convention out the window and strips away what…
Well I must say it's very nice of Pickpocket to start off by telling us it's not a thriller.
I'm slightly pissed off by that opening. It could be because I'm over-tired and annoyed and possibly being over-sensitive, but there's a slightly sneery tone behind it that almost smacks to me as suggesting that it would be beneath this film to be labelled a mere thriller. It's a really odd and stand-offish way to start a film, I must admit, and while I suppose in one way I do slightly appreciate its honesty, I think it could have done me a big favour in furthering that honesty.
"This is a…
A film that defies star ratings. Deeply unsettling. I still don't know if I love it, but I do know that it's absolutely brilliant.
"Can we not admit that certain skilled men, gifted with intelligence, talent or even genius, and thus indispensable to society, rather than stagnate, should be free to disobey laws in certain cases?" ~ Michel
If dourness can be beautiful and numbness artistic, then Robert Bresson is the writer-director to make it so. I watched this just a couple of days after viewing his Diary of a Country Priest, and the similarities are striking. There's the same laconic, solitary central figure -- this time a thief named Michel played by lanky Martin LaSalle -- and there's the recording of personal thoughts in a journal. Although this film takes place in Paris among lots of people, Michel is just as alone in…
A.V. Club review. Try as I might, I can't make the final line reverberate back through the entire film, which is what would need to happen for it to have the ecstatic effect Bresson clearly intends. Had enormous difficulty addressing that very personal reaction in the review while simultaneously acknowledging Pickpocket's importance and the fact that many people consider its ending one of cinema's greatest, which is one of several reasons why I think a blanket ban on the use of first person is wrongheaded. (Hi various editors!)
A suit that's slightly too large. Impassive eyes that hold yours just past the point of comfort and suddenly drop. Delicately roving hands that slide over a cuff, a button, a purse clasp, and slip inward - or shy away.
I'm not sure when I've been more uncomfortable in the company of a protagonist. Watching him is like an experience of repeatedly, accidentally catching someone masturbating - and then we both walk away, pretending no one saw such a private compulsion made public.
In the final moments, the impassive eyes change; they are less secretive, hidden; there is, even, an open, innocent eagerness. My discomfort drops for the first time.
But then, "Fin." What has that last scene resolved? I am not sure.
Michel reminds me of Dr. Caligari's Cesare if he were French and not living in an asylum. But he probably doesn't have as much appeal as Conrad Veidt does, with Michel being a fairly passive protagonist that really just acts as a way to tell a story as opposed to being someone truly interesting. The cinematography is fantastic though and Bresson strikes me as a talented director of whom I really need to get into more.
Iconic for a reason. It uses a procedural structure to fulfill transcendental ambitions—Bresson is perhaps the only filmmaker to ever do that.
The training scenes and the conversations in his room are amazing. The scene where he realizes the detective has set him up to search his room is a beautiful little surprise, subtly told. To get the most out of his nonprofessional actors, Bresson uses voiceover to avoid having too much dialogue.
Very artful and dark, it just didn't quite blow me away. I don't know, maybe I was in a weird mood, but I found it kind of dull. The camerawork was masterful, and I really loved the way we could follow the elaborate pickpocketing scenes, but the overall plot felt a little flat to me.
After having not seen a Bresson film in years, I have to admit I was a tiny bit disappointed by this... but only a tiny bit. It didn't hit the same emotional or intellectual cords that Balthazar hit with me but I still appreciated it for it's form and it's presentation of the topic and central character. The actual theft scenes themselves are absolutely thrilling.
Pickpocket is a masterfully crafted examination of obsession and addiction. Michel doesn't commit a crime because he needs to, but because he desires to. There is a huge difference. Pickpocket is merely a metaphor. Everyone can place their unhealthy addictions in the blank space pickpocket stands for. The things that obsess us we can't explain, that sometimes takes the place of our loved ones and has us communing with ourselves in a way no one else understands.
One of my favorite scenes in the film is, Michel, Jeanne and Jacques are sitting outside a cafe. Michel is there but not present. He sees his friend's desire for Jeanne and has no motivation to pursue her for himself. His mind is…
Pickpocket: Tales of the worst friend ever.
The joys of this film are in the details, and nothing else. The moments are so small that they sound silly when you describe them, but every time I felt the subdued minimalism was starting to lose me something would be thrown in that made me excited to keep watching.
"The style of this film is not that of a thriller" says Robert Bresson's opening disclaimer. The interesting factor of Pickpocket is that I managed to tense up at times.
I do wish that it could've met my impossibly high expectations. The only other Bresson I've watched is A Man Escaped which is a masterclass of unadorned techniques. Pickpocket also tries to emulate that no frills style (narration, diary, sound, close-ups and cinéma vérité) with similar restraint.
It's not as extensively detailed, though. Neither extensive nor exhaustive. For what it's worth, the "pickpocket" scenes are quite gripping (whether it's Michel's hands sneakily approaching a purse or his implication in that virtuosic train sequence) but every other moment that has to…
Viewed on TCM
I'm not gonna lie, it took me a couple of tries to watch Pickpocket. It doesn't help that for 3 days straight I had to wake up at 5am.
I think it caught up to me.
Even though I failed at watching Pickpocket in one sitting, the film failed to impress. I found the story too slow at times and the parts I did find intriguing, those were few and far between and for a film that is only 1 hour and 15 minutes, that says a lot.
Great 60-90 min films (for those days when you just don't have the energy to watch a 3 hour masterpiece)
Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of hight quality "short" films. Easy…
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…