Thursday, 3 July 2008

A film to watch before you die...

... Is Robert Bresson's A Man Escaped.

There are no special effects, no gore, no hair raising background music... For the most part of the film, there is only the one main character, Fontaine, in a cell with his spoon and his thoughts. But put it like this... I have never had to pause a film to calm down and catch my breath before.

The film is a true story based on the experience of a resistance fighter called Andr
é Devigny (Fontaine in the film) in Nazi occupied France during the Second World War. He is arrested, imprisoned and then sentenced to death. Whilst he locked up, he devises a plan to escape using the materials he has in his cell and meticulous attention to detail.

I am in awe of Bresson's ability to create such a compelling, gripping piece of work with such simple resources. There are colossal, $200 million plus budget blockbusters I have seen including endless special effects, digital editing and the most qualified, experienced actors which have not evoked in me nearly the reaction that Bresson was able to in A Man Escaped. With a couple of amateur actors and a tiny budget, he has created a cinematic masterpiece and that in my opinion this film embodies the true art of directing. A must see!

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