Friday, April 4, 2008

robert bresson, ingmar bergman, free from all impurities

coffee in mouchette

i felt a strong affinity with bernanos' and bresson's mouchette. it's a film i would have liked to have made myself, but which i didn't understand. in mouchette the motif is expressed clearly and explicitly, free from all impurities. the girl in mouchette and the girl in the devil's wanton are sisters, sisters in two similar worlds.
but while the devil's wanton is full of quirks and divagation and coquetry and jumps about all over the place. mouchette is clear as daylight. it's a pure work of art. the religious motif only comes in for a moment, before the titles, as one sees the girl sitting there crying, and she says- "how will they manage without me?" how are you to manage without the saint, without the person who bears your sufferings? just for a moment- and then all the rest of the film is completely undogmatic.
i'm also tremendously fond of the diary of a country priest, one of the most remarkable works ever made. my winter light was very much influenced by it.

(pages 43-44 from bergman on bergman: interview with ingmar bergman by stig björkman, torsten manns and jonas sima, da capo press, 1993)

also, see deakins


the art of memory said...

there are plenty of negative comments by him as well, many found in the new book of interviews: ingmar bergman: interviews (conversations with filmmakers series), univ pr of mississippi, 2007.
the hardest to believe for me is his reason for not liking au hasard, because it stars a donkey.

MS said...

from Tarkovsky's diaries, 3 January 1974, Moscow:


8. Favorite color -- green
9. Poet -- Pushkin
10. Film director (Russian) -- none
11. Foreign -- Bresson ..."

the art of memory said...

thank you, have you seen his list of favorite films?

MS said...

yes actually! from this website:

1. Le Journal d'un curé de campagne
2. Winter Light
3. Nazarin
4. Wild Strawberries
5. City Lights
6. Ugetsu Monogatari
7. Seven Samurai
8. Persona
9. Mouchette
10. Woman of the Dunes (Teshigahara)