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filmcriticy Profile
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Registered: 08-2008
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To Cinema Seekers

Dear Gregory and Maria Pearse,

I've stumbled upon Cinema Seekers, and I must is a very impressive web site with great perspective on several films that I have already been acquainted with. However, there are quite a few reservations with it that I am entailed to point out. I am a mad fan of Robert Bresson (as Ingmar Bergman would say!), and coincidentally, one of my complaints involves your Bresson: faliure to find the Holy Grail article.

Your descriptions of Bresson's working methods are intact, but a bit on the half way point, you write about Four Nights of a Dreamer: "A surprisingly superficial film for Bresson, it shows that even a great director cannot sort through life's mysteries (in this case, the enigma of male/female relationships) without the proper knowledge".
If that so then I highly recommend you watch the whole entire movie again.

In my mind, it wasn't any of Bresson's intentions to show the psychological relationships of the characters at all, as even he knew the limits of it. His purpose was to convey the idea of it: to film a movie when the Idea of love is grander than the love itself. In an interview, Bresson spoke about it "in the love between the students, she loved him because she never saw him. She loved the idea of him. Even if he were very ugly or very nasty to her it would make no difference". Now is it possible that the idealism, hopes, dreams, and fantasies of Jacques and Marthe is much closer to the romanticism of Herman Melville, Richard Wagner, and Charlie Chaplin (one of Bresson's great heroes) than the romantic melodrama's of Woody Allen, and Ernst Lubitsch?

One of my favorite scenes from the film are the ones when Jacques record's his voice to the instrument in what can be summed up as a ridiculous day-dream. It's a form of romantic display what is emotional than what is intellectual...but in this case it is both emotional and intellectual but not the kind of thinking we are accustomed to identifying, but bodily thinking. Chaplin does the same, but instead of recording his voice, he is dressing up as the tramp, playing pretend, and becoming somebody his social class distinction is oblivious of. Compare these examples with several of the scenes found in Bertolucci's The Dreamers, and Nicholas Ray's Rebel without a cause, two films which follow in this tradition...

Film Critic Y

Last edited by filmcriticy, 8/16/2008, 2:55 pm
8/16/2008, 2:59 am Link to this post Send Email to filmcriticy   Send PM to filmcriticy

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