PETITS FRERES (Jacques Doillon, 1999)

Writer-director Jacques Doillon apparently makes only excrutiatingly fake films. His 1996 Ponette, about a four-year-old girl’s coping with her mother’s accidental death, makes a show of being sensitive when all the time it is headed for a grotesquely painless resolution. By contrast, Petits frères, which portrays disaffected boys, mostly black and Muslim, in “the projects” […]

ANGELS OF SIN (Robert Bresson, 1943)

Released from German imprisonment during the Occupation, Robert Bresson made his first feature, which, despite an exaggerated lead performance by Renée Faure, is brilliant. Les anges du péché is spiritually intense; watching it is an overwhelming, if unsettling, experience.      The Dominican convent here is Béthanie—a reminder of its proximity in Bresson’s Au hasard, Balthazar (1966), […]