Monday, 2 April 2001
Everything I ever saw by Robert Bresson was sensational. Cinema stripped to the essence. Still surfaces, non-performative actors, minimalist sequences and yet somehow raging passions churning beneath it all.
Pickpocket is a case in point, as misfit Martin LaSalle embarks on a life of crime spurred by the sense that he is somehow different from the crowd. Via the deftest array of shots we become intimate with the balletic skill required to take from another’s person. The great solitude of the thief. The tension surrounding the commission of the crime. The near-sexual excitement which the perpetrator experiences. The inherent narcissism which is the affliction of the wrongdoer. The sense of life reduced to an inescapable automatism.
It’s Dostoevsky distilled for the big screen. I always preferred this stuff to the French New Wave of Godard, Truffaut et les autres.