Forum / you may well be amazed . . .

  • Photo_00020.thumb
    Jan 19, 03:12am

    Just learned this evening that NYRB has lately released its edition of Robert Bresson's NOTES ON THE CINEMATOGRAPHER, apparently the identical ed. formerly published by Green Integer (1997) with tr. by Jonathan Griffin and Introduction by J. M. G. Le Clezio.

    The Green Integer ed. has been out-of-print for a few years now, so this is a welcome return.

    Granted: Bresson will never be everyone's dose of espresso, but his film work is unlike anyone else's, and it is in this tr. of his working notes (aphorisms, really) compiled from 1950 to 1974 that he frames his film aesthetic, largely dedicated to being "anti-theatrical"--a film aesthetic derived from and respectful of the properties of camera and microphone, not the inherited traditions of theatre: for most of his career Bresson did not employ professional actors, intent as he was to use his "models" to exhibit their automatic (unthinking, unwilled) somatic life for the film narratives Bresson was filming.

    Whether you admire Bresson or his work, you'll find lines here to freshen your sensory and creative apparatus. (Let's see if I can pick five.)

    "Nature: what the dramatic art suppresses in favor of a naturalness that is learned and maintained by exercises."

    "Someone who can work with the minimum can work with the most. One who can with the most cannot, inevitably, with the minimum."

    "Be the first to see what you see as you see it."

    "'Visible parlance' of bodies, objects, houses, roads, trees, fields."

    "The people I pass in the Avenue des Champs-Elysees appear to me like marble figures moved forward by springs. But let their eyes meet mine, and at once these walking and gazing statues become human."

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    Sam Rasnake
    Jan 19, 08:59pm

    I didn't know about the NYRB release. This is great news.

    Bresson is definitely my dose of French roast. Notes is an amazing book. I've read it many times - and continue to reach for it. Bresson's writing and his films remain essential to me.

    A must-read.

  • Photo_00020.thumb
    Jan 24, 03:42am
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    Feb 01, 03:09pm

    NYRB also has freshly published (2016-hardcover only, so far) BRESSON ON BRESSON: Interviews 1943 - 1983 (Mylene Bresson, ed., Anna Moschovakis, tr., preface by Pascale Merigeau), with all but two chapters organized around each title in the Bresson corpus.

  • Frankie Saxx
    Mar 02, 12:16pm

    I hadn't heard of it. But your recommendations have never steered me wrong yet. (I'm still working my way through Simenon. God he was prolific.)

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