By Kent Jones
Made whilst the director was once nearly eighty, Robert Bresson's ''L'Argent'' (1983) is a examine of homicide and intent tailored from Tolstoy. the writer compares ''L'Argent'' to Bresson's different paintings and locations the movie on the crossroads of modern cinema tendencies - these of the vigilante and serial killer movies.
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Additional info for L'Argent (BFI Modern Classics)
Psychology may be the last stop on Bresson's aesthetic and moral itinerary, but he certain]y betrays a profound understanding of it here - there's a whole biograpby of a family woven into these brief scenes. \'Vhen Yvon tells the woman that she should up and ¡eave, that her family treats her horribly, she corrects bim: '1 can't reach him,' she says of her father, 'he started drinking wben l11Y husband died. Then he lost all his pupils. ' It's easy to hear the cries of 'enabler' and 'dysfunctional family', but Bresson gets so deep inside the mecbanics of the situation that such labels seem meaningless.
The doors open and the blue mail baskets come out, one of whichis pramptly dumped on the sorting table inside. It's a very nice moment, with a wonderful mixture of expectatíon and impending boredom on the faces of the women who do the sortíng, followed by a great compositíon: their arms fram all acrass the table, dad in blue smocks, reaching into the blue basket for a handful of letters to sort. up Lucíen working his cash card scam L'ARGENT Womcm sorling the pnsoners' letters over the sound of rustling papel'.
69 70 BFI MüDERN CLASSICS Mass is a makeshift black market: a tape is exchanged for money, coupons are exchanged for a botde of perfume. Yvon sits next to Lucien, amidst the blue sea of the prison uniforms. Tm going to get you out of here,' says Lucien, the hubristic good samaritan, and offers a detailed plan of escape and then a promise of help on the outside. 'I'd rather kill you than leave with you,' says Yvon. ' The bottom of a closed door and the floor beneath it. The sound of a wailíng $iren.