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On Wed, 13 Apr 1994, Jordan Stein wrote:
>         Can anybody reccomend anything for me to red on Bresson?  Is
> Bresson considered to part of any cinematc trend, or was his style
> extremely unique at that time.  I kmow that I was extreme in saying that
> he's not part of the French cannon(it's hard to be articulate when you have
> only two seconds to type a message, and it's very jarring for me to read
> what I write in people's replys), but is are there any directors, or
> stylistic tendencys today, which can be linked to Bresson.
 
Paul Schrader wrote TRANSCENDAL STYLE IN FILM: OZU, DREYER, BRESSON in
1972, and it remains a classic nad much referred to (if little read) book
about some directors unique in there austere, acetic yet rich cinematic
approaches. THE FILMS OF ROBERT BRESSON (Praeger Film Library,, 1969), an
anthology of essays written specifically for that volume, is probably out
of print but can probably be found in used book stores with large film
sections, or possibly mail ordered from the Hollywood book stores such as
Larry Edmunds.
 
The film THERESE by Alain Cavalier (France, 1986) was described as
"Bressonian" by many informed critics when it was released, and for good
reason. While Cavalier has a different philisophical bent, the surface
stylistics of THERESE strongly suggest Bresson's distanced, austere style,
with tableaux scenes that suggest Dreyer.
 
Some of Bresson's films are available on tape. New Yorker video recently
released L'ARGENT, and Foothills video has poor but serviceable copies of
PICKPOCKET and DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST available. Also, A MAN ESCAPED
was released on video, but the releasing company has escaped me. I've also
heard that MOUCHETTE is available.
 
My own thoughts on a term of French Cinema would be to sketch the enormity
of work done in France, from the avante-garde stylistics of BALLET
MEHCANIQUE and REGEN to the impressionist imfluenced cinema of Renoir (and
where to start with Renoir? RULES OF THE GAME? THE GRAND ILLUSION? or
earlier with BOUDU SAVED FROM DROWNING?) I'm particularly fond of
Jean-Pierre Melville's pre-New Wave gangster film BOB LE FLAMBEUR (an
influence on the New Wave) and, of course, Godard's BREATHLESS, a seminal
film if there ever was one. And there are so many others, I guess I'm not
that much help after all.
 
                                        Yours in Cinema,
                                        Sean the Ax