Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bresson's Diary of a Country Priest (1951)

How often do you see a movie that won't leave you? The minimalist outlines of Journal d’un curé de campagne or Diary of a Country Priest (1951) are deceptively simple, telling the story of a man whose life appears to be a failure through his diaries.

Yet the power of the movie seems to grow after seeing it and it is hard to shake its spell. In a medium that mostly glorifies and relishes the lushly beautiful as it documents our material existence on film, this movie pares down the merely visual, leaving every concentrated physical gesture such as opening one's eyes, the feeling the sensation of the wind on a motorbike, the sound of a pen scratching on paper, of leaves being raked and the depth of feeling conveyed in a seemingly blank expression to remind us that so much of everyday life is filled with a not so prosaic significance. To feel this film's full power, it should probably be viewed more than once...more

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