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.

References and Links

Schrader, Paul 1972, Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer, Da Capo Press.

Wikipedia page.

IMDb page.

Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 18 April, 2020 | Now: 18 April, 2020