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Film Festival Today

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Bresson Retrospective At Film Forum

Written by: FFT Webmaster | January 4th, 2012

One of the most enigmatic filmmakers in world cinema will be given a major retrospective this month at the New York arthouse Film Forum. The series focuses on the oeuvre of French director Robert Bresson, with all films being presented in 35mm prints, including four newly struck for this tour, which originated at the TIFF Cinematheque in Toronto and will travel to over a dozen cities in the United States and Canada during 2012. Bresson, who died at the age of 98 in 1999, rejected standard narrative form to create a kind of cinema that was deeply aligned with the existentialist philosophy movement of Jean-Paul Sartre. For most of his career, he developed a distinct, austere visual style and filled his cast with mainly non-professional actors. The retrospective opens on January 6 with AU HASARD BALTHAZAR, a fable detailing the parallel lives of a donkey and young farm girl (played by Anne Wiazemsky, in her debut). Among the highlights are such individualistic germs as DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST (winner of the Grand Prize at the 1951 Venice Film Festival), MOUCHETTE, the director’s brutally unsentimental portrait of a teenager; PICKPOCKET, the atmospheric chronicle of a young man’s rise and fall as a master petty thief; THE TRIAL OF JOAN OF ARC, the director’s depiction of the saint’s grueling trial for heresy; THE DEVIL PROBABLY, a controversial pro-suicide tract that was banned in its native France; and his final film, L’ARGENT, loosely adapted from a Tolstoy story. The festival concludes with a one-week run of A MAN ESCAPED, based on an actual prison escape and influenced by the director’s own experience as a POW. For a complete schedule, visit: www.filmforum.org

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