Mouchette (Robert Bresson, 1967)
The Bresson problem again. He's seen as a 'great director' by cinephiles, and I think he's not only deadly dull but profoundly despressing as well, because of his choice of subject.
In this case, a pubescent girl in a rural area, is preyed upon and disrespected by everyone, until she finally kills herself by rolling (!) into a stream and not coming up. It's a bit better, I suppose, than something similar happening to a donkey (Au hasard Balthasar). At least she's human, basically.
The cinematography is a collection of the minimum number of shots. For example: see the target, see Mouchette throwing mud, see the mud hit the target, see the reaction: four shots, that's the whole scene - probably one take each shot.
The actors are not professionals. Only one of them had ever worked in a film before (the only actor Bresson used more than once). So, tho they might look authentic - because they are - they don't do anything to create their characters, show development, occasion admiration, have any technique at all.
I know I'm missing something, but I expect to die not knowing what it is. Reading Paul Schrader's book was no help. He doesn't define his key term.
Schrader, Paul 1972, Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer, Da Capo Press.
Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 18 April, 2020 | Now: 18 April, 2020