Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pickpocket - 1959 - Dir. Bresson

A much lauded film, for some reason I went into it expecting Italian Neo-Realism. I honestly don't know how I made that mix-up. I've never seen a Bresson film. Known for severing ties between Theater and Cinema, Pickpocket does just that. Voice-over runs throughout the film and hand movements, subtle gestures move much of the action forward. Our protagonist after all, is a pickpocket. It's hard to find a critic or auteur who does not praise the film to the skies. I struggled with it though. It runs awfully slowly and jerks around at times. The story is very jumpy. To some degree the film kind of occupied a space between cinematic and well... neo-realism, I suppose. We have a minimal story and character motivation is difficult to pierce, non-professional actors, but I don't think I ever really bought it. Voice-over makes it difficult to treat as real, so I felt like it should be treated like a story. But the story is neglected, at least, non-visual story-telling. Scenes and sequences are executed well but on a whole I feel like the film never really congeals. I also have to say I don't think I really gave a damn about the characters, which I'm sure didn't help any. I feel like it was a film where I appreciated the smaller parts rather than the whole. I can't say I was unsatisfied by any means, but I don't think the film really stirred anything in me. I can see how it was an important entry into cinema history (or at least Bresson's approach was) and certainly can see that.
Shit! Have they found me out!?

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