Au hasard Balthasar (Robert Bresson, 1966)
The film follows Marie (Wiazemsky), a shy farm girl, and her beloved donkey Balthazar over many years. As Marie grows up, the pair becomes separated, but the film traces both their fates as they live parallel lives, continually taking abuse of all forms from the people they encounter. The donkey has several owners, most of whom exploit him, often with more cruelty than kindness. Balthazar and Marie often suffer at the hands of the same people. Marie's fate remains unresolved, whereas the donkey's is clear.
I might regret this, but I’m going to dump on Au hasard Balthasar when I get a minute. What a tedious, downer experience! … In fact, that will do; I can’t be bothered writing any more about it. I’m amazed some ppl think it’s among the very best films ever made.
Ingmar Bergman said of the movie, "this Balthazar, I didn’t understand a word of it, it was so completely boring... A donkey, to me, is completely uninteresting, but a human being is always interesting." According to The New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael, Balthazar is "[c]onsidered a masterpiece by some, but others may find it painstakingly tedious and offensively holy." Wikipedia.
Garry Gillard | New: 5 March, 2017 | Now: 28 August, 2018