So Jean-Luc Godard describes Robert Bresson—-born this day in 1901—-in the above clip:

If I wanted to characterize Robert Bresson, I said once in an interview that to me he’s a Grand Inquisitor, someone who, despite the risk or violence involved, penetrates to the very depths of a human being. And as inquisitors go he’s less dangerous than political or religious inquisitors because his tool is cinema, and since cinema is concerned with life and mankind, it is by definition humanistic.

Therefore Bresson has the opportunity and the incredible privilege of being both an inquisitor and a humanist. This is very apparent in  Balthazar , which is a film with a dreadful vision of the world and the evil in it. But at the same time we experience it with a kind of Christian mildness that I find extraordinary.

The interview then turns to Bresson, and a discussion of  Au Hasard Balthazar. 

(HT: Shmuel Ben-Gad)

Articles by Matthew Schmitz


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