AU HASARD BALTHAZAR (Robert Bresson, 1966)

A very strange and moving film, Au hasard Balthazar is the pilgrim’s progress of a saintly, downtrodden donkey in rural France. Indeed, Robert Bresson’s austere black-and-white film shows our world, or some segment of it, from Balthazar’s perspective. This world, the scene of the animal’s serial suffering, is cold, spiteful, cruel and criminal. Most people […]

PICKPOCKET (Robert Bresson, 1959)

Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket claims one of the most stunning opening movements in all of cinema. The opening shot consists of a hand, a page and a pen at work on it, and voiceover, the aural translation of the script that the hand is generating; the camera is angled over the shoulder, and the voice belongs, […]

DIVIDED WE FALL (Jan Hrebějk, 2000)

Reminiscent of the tragicomedies that marked the second and third tiers of achievement of the Czech New Wave that flourished in the 1960s until Soviet tanks, rolling in, crushed it (and much else), Divided We Fall (Musíme si pomáhat) is a patient, quirky, unmistakably Czech comedy. It unfolds during the German Occupation of Czechoslovakia during […]