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Robert Bresson (Revised) (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs) Paperback – June 4, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Cinematheque Ontario Monographs (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Toronto International Film Festival (June 4, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0968296912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0968296912
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,198,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

" . . . a fine, fat volume of appreciations and interviews . . . " -- Richard Corliss, Time

" . . . important . . . a very welcome work of reference for professors, librarians and all those interested in the oeuvre of Bresson." -- Le Figaro

" . . . impressive anthology . . . " -- Molly Haskell, Film Comment

About the Author

James Quandt, senior programmer at Cinematheque Ontario, is also the editor of Kon Ichikawa and Shohei Imamura.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kristopher Kincaid on December 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
last year i recieved one of the best christmas presents i could ask for: this book. while i wouldnt recommend it to anyone that isnt a bresson fan it holds plenty to mull over for those that are. while a few of the articles are dull and/or pretentious more often than not they are highly illuminating as to the director's methods. there are one or two articles devoted to each of his films and a few that are just about his films in general. this first section of the book ends with bresson's cinematographer for "diary," through to "joan of arc" writing about his love/hate relationship with bresson and an interview with the young man who played the lead in "the devil, probably." the second part of the book contains three interviews with bresson: the paul schrader, which is fidgety and odd; the godard, which is exhaustive, rambling and very enlightening; and the final one whose author slips my mind which is great but unfortunately short (conducted after the completion of what would be bresson's last film, "l'argent"). the final section of the book is basically several directors talking about why they like bresson. this section ranges from short, humorous stories (the fassbinder and aki kaurismaki) to long essays on bresson's style(malle, etc.). other directors quoted in this final section include tarkovsky, bertollucci, wenders, hal hartley, and atom egoyan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Josh Siegel on April 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
Editor James Quandt, an esteemed film curator at the Cinematheque Ontario, has assembled the best writings on Robert Bresson, intelligently balancing scholarly analysis (including that of Barthes and Moravia), filmmakers' homages (from Scorsese to Fassbinder, Cocteau to Duras), and accessible primers on the French director's work (by Susan Sontag and Andre Bazin, among others). Particularly noteworthy are the interviews Bresson conducted with Jean-Luc Godard, Paul Schrader, and the French critics Michael Delahaye and Michel Ciment. A MUST for anyone interested in film history and in one of the few directors worthy of the appellation "genius."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tosh Berman/TamTam Books on November 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
My personal hero of the aforementioned European art-movie genre -- Robert Bresson -- is the subject of a new book edited by James Quandt. Robert Bresson includes interviews with the director by fellow filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and Paul Schrader and French film critics Michael Delahaye and Michel Ciment. There are also homages from directors like Martin Scorsese and Rainier Werner Fassbinder, as well as essays by Roland Barthes and Alberto Moravia. One might wonder why such famous and accomplished people took the time to write about a French filmmaker whose movies are not known to the general moviegoing public. The answer is that the late Bresson actually was one of the great figures in cinema. His austere directing style relied on slow and beautiful imagery and much suffering on the part of his main characters, resulting in films that, once experienced, is never forgotten. One can describe Quandt's book the same way
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "unhelpful" on June 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Imagine a young film director making a somewhat controversial first film, with a script by someone on the order of Saul Bellow, followed by a more successful film with recognizable stars and a labyrinthine script by someone like Harold Pinter. Have him drop out of sight for four years, only to emerge from obscurity with a movie about a country priest, filmed (spectacularly) in rural (RURAL!) Massachusetts. Etcetera. There is really no way to imagine Robert Bresson otherwise. We owe it to the French film industry (if something so UNconsolidated could be called an industry) that Bresson was permitted to flourish at all. It wasn't simply as if he was waiting around, all his life, for a financier (14 films in forty years of activity). But where else on earth could this austerely Catholic artist have found work but in France, the most religiously cynical country in Europe? His films are a rebuke to anyone stupid enough to expect anything conventional. Bresson questioned everything in film - even the central point of the medium. His films deny the viewer the usual crutches en route to an idea. Bresson leads us silently, without promptings, toward a disbelief we had long since suspended but never seriously questioned. He makes the word 'genius' clean again.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "unhelpful" on June 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Imagine a young film director making a somewhat controversial first film, with a script by someone on the order of Saul Bellow, followed by a more successful film with recognizable stars and a labyrinthine script by someone like Harold Pinter. Have him drop out of sight for four years, only to emerge from obscurity with a movie about a country priest, filmed (spectacularly) in rural (RURAL!) Massachusetts. Etcetera. There is really no way to imagine Robert Bresson otherwise. We owe it to the French film industry (if something so UNconsolidated could be called an industry) that Bresson was permitted to flourish at all. It wasn't simply as if he was waiting around, all his life, for a financier (14 films in forty years of activity). But where else on earth could this austerely Catholic artist have found work but in France, the most religiously cynical country in Europe? His films are a rebuke to anyone stupid enough to expect anything conventional. Bresson questioned everything in film - even the central point of the medium. His films deny the viewer the usual crutches en route to an idea. Bresson leads us silently, without promptings, toward a disbelief we had long since suspended but never seriously questioned. He makes the word 'master' clean again.
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