By Bert Cardullo
A few writers have tried to seize Robert Bresson’s kind in addition to his substance with such phrases as “minimalist,” “austere,” "ascetic," “elliptical,” “autonomous,” “pure,” even “gentle." so much famously, Paul Schrader as soon as referred to as Bresson’s movies “transcendental,” whereas Susan Sontag defined them as “spiritual.” either those critics therefore prolonged in anglicized shape a bent that had early been dominant in Bresson feedback in France: the try, made by means of such Catholic writers as André Bazin, Henri Agel, Roger Leenhardt, and Amédée Ayfre, to appreciate Bresson's paintings in non secular phrases, seeing his digicam as a type of god and the cloth global as (paradoxically) something of the spirit. That try, in Sontag’s essay, resulted in the creation of Bresson to the hot York-based avant-garde of the Sixties and Nineteen Seventies, whose films—such as Richard Serra’s Hand Catching Lead (1968), for one—show the impression of the French director’s critical, reductivist type. Jean-Luc Godard, in fact, wanted no such serious creation to Robert Bresson, for, in his iconoclasm and integrity, in his rejection of the Gallic “Cinéma du Papa” in addition to in his include of movie as an self sufficient artwork, Bresson used to be one of many heroes of the younger administrators who constituted the French New Wave within the early Sixties. rather a lot in order that Godard was once moved to assert in Cahiers du cinéma in 1957 that “Bresson is French cinema, as Dostoyevsky is the Russian novel and Mozart is German music."
The result's that Bresson has undeniably encouraged a slew of up to date ecu filmmakers, together with Chantal Akerman, Olivier Assayas, Laurent Cantet, Alain Cavalier, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Claire Denis, Jacques Doillon, Bruno Dumont, Michael Haneke, Benoît Jacquot, and Maurice Pialat--not to talk of his impression on Asian and American cinema. Bresson and Others: religious Syle within the Cinema is an try and record this effect via essays on fifteen foreign administrators who in Bresson's wake, who in truth could have stimulated him (Carl Dreyer), or who contemporaneously labored veins just like these present in Bresson's movies (Ingmar Bergman, Yasujiro Ozu). those essays are preceded through an advent to the cinema of Robert Bresson and through movie credit, a bibliography of feedback, and an index. the topic of Bresson and Others, then, might particularly be Bressonian cinema, yet, in a common feel, it might even be stated to be spirit and matter--or movie and religion.
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Extra resources for Bresson and Others: Spiritual Style in the Cinema
By the time he had finished writing a script, he had already made up every image in every shot. . ” Other good directors often work otherwise. With Ozu, however, the result is not mechanical execution of a blueprint but the fulfillment of aesthetic design. In his own right Chishu Ryu has an extraordinary place in Ozu’s oeuvre. He became, one could say, the vicar on screen for Ozu. According to some critics, this is true in some of the earlier films in the strictly biographical sense; and it continued, in the later films, in the psychological and spiritual sense.
As it turns out, the warmest of the young 22 A Passage to Tokyo: The Art of Ozu, Remembered people whom the old couple see in Tokyo is just this woman: their dead son’s wife. ) His parents themselves understand that he was a difficult person to live with and not the most admirable of fellows; therefore they urge the still-young widow to remarry and not to follow the usual custom of remaining a widow. Many have noted the symmetries—formal, narrative, thematic—in Tokyo Story, and some comment on them seems apt at this point.
And Ozu’s three most important actors here seem to have blossomed out of the original idea into full-blown, corporeal beings. Bent, faintly ludicrous, somewhat egocentric, Chishu Ryu is nonetheless truly dignified by his character’s age, and, by some magical act of imaginative transformation, he manages to act with an old man’s very bones. ) Chieko Higashiyama, his wife, has a plain, even homely face that, as we see more and more of her, becomes more and more beautiful; like Eleanor Roosevelt’s face, that is, Higashiyama’s becomes facially beautiful as her spirit becomes manifest.