• Wed Feb 4
Robert Bresson
Christian Pately, Sylvie VanDenElsen

“Bresson's final film is one of his most powerful, a hair-raising sermon preached in detail shots, elliptical edits, and offscreen sounds. Based on a short story by Tolstoy, it details the consequences of the passing of a counterfeit 500-franc note, which sets in motion a chain reaction that destroys the life of an innocent truck-driver and leads to a mysterious and terrifying climax. The precision of Bresson’s style has never been more beautiful or functional, and the film's double drive toward damnation and purification is overwhelming.” (Martin Rubin, Gene Siskel Film Center)

Shown with Harun Farocki’s An Image (1983, 25 mins, Bluray), about a Playboy magazine centerfold shoot. According to Farocki, the film “is part of a series I’ve been working on since 1979. The television station that commissioned it assumes in these cases that I’m making a film that is critical of its subject matter, and the owner or manager of the thing that’s being filmed assumes that my film is an advertisement for them. I try to do neither. Nor do I want to do something in between, but beyond both.”

35mm color
1 hour 22 minutes
release year/country
1983 France/Switzerland