Sunday, March 16, 2008

robert bresson, andrei tarkovsky, very few means of expression

while doing roublev i forced myself to be very hard and very dry, tending towards a sort of olympic calm that, for me, is the major quality of the art of directing a film. so i might as well as tell you that i'm very fond of bresson. page 30

in paris, i have asked to meet bresson. we have nothing in common, but he's one of the best directors i know. i want to see him, to see his face, to see how he talks. i have no questions to ask him, he himself suffices for me... he uses very few means of expression, nobody ever has reached such a degree of asceticism. page 45

the film clips which i am showing represent what is closest to my heart. they are examples of a form of thought and how this thought is expressed through film. in bresson's mouchette the way in which the girl commits suicide is particularly striking. page 78

in fact i consider robert bresson the best filmmaker in the world. i have only the greatest respect for him. not counting that, i actually don't see many resemblances between us. he's able to cut down a shot in a way that i can't; it would be for me like killing a living being. page 182

from andrei tarkovsky: interviews, 2006

i now know two directors who worked with rigid self-imposed constraints to help them create a true form for the realisation of their idea; early dovzhenko (earth) and bresson (diary of a country priest). but bresson is perhaps the only man in the cinema to have achieved the perfect fusion of the finished work with a concept theoretically formulated beforehand. i know of no other artist as consistent as he is in this respect. his guiding principle was the elimination of what is known as 'expressiveness', in the sense that he wanted to do away with the frontier between the image and actual life; that is, to render life itself graphic and expressive. no special feeding in of material, nothing laboured, nothing that smacks of deliberate generalisation. paul valéry could have been thinking of bresson when he wrote: 'perfection is achieved only by avoiding everything that might make for conscious exaggeration.' apparently no more than modest, simple observation of life. pages 94-95

you will always recognize the editing of bergman, bresson, kurosawa or antonioni; none of them could ever be confused with anyone else, because each one's perception of time, as expressed in the rhythm of his films, is always the same. page 121

from andrei tarkovsky: sculpting in time, 1986