MAY 1-10, TUESDAY–THURSDAY AT 7, 9PM
Over the last five years, nearly every visiting filmmaker to Northwest Film Forum has cited Robert Bresson as one of the key influences on their work.Each has digested his outstanding “Notes On The Cinematographer,” a dictum for filmmaking that lays out his elliptical style, epigrammatic prose, obtuse meanings, material rigidity, conciseness and frugality of means. It’s also a text that has served as a guide for our film programming.
In a career that spanned over forty years, Bresson directed only thirteen feature films—plus a single short. It’s not a large body of work for a man who ranks high in the critics’ pantheon of cinema gods. Bresson never had a major box office success; after his second feature, he ceased working with professional actors entirely. His work with non-professionals—or models, as he like to call them—emphasized movement and gesture over thought. He’d often shoot many takes, gradually stripping all affectation and intention from his models.
We present in this series six of Bresson’s harder-to-find features, as well as his only short film. Several of his other films have recently screened at Northwest Film Forum, and two more will screen in coming months for longer engagements in new 35mm prints.