Pickpocket is not, as it must first appear, a study in the psychology of a criminal but rather a variant on the classical morality play, in which a man must lose his soul in order to save it.
Why should I live. If this seems a gloomy process through which to journey, there are always points in his films where redemption and exaltation prevent glumness.
It soon becomes evident that Michel's moral decline into a life of crime was not driven by evil intent but by a subconscious desire to be caught and made to atone for his first and most unpardonable transgression. He attempts to co-opt picking pockets as his project.
One big difference, of course, is the age of the protagonist. It is a kind of pact with the Devil. Both his mother and Jeanne respond to the universal in Michael. Is to choose life, also to choose death. Michael believes himself to be one of these geniuses, and yet teeters on the edges of taking action to prove his theory true, or more to the point, untrue.
He is acutely aware of his aloneness.
Eventually I did get around to seeing it and, finding it quite an impressive achievement, the elevated price tag became a bit easier to understand.
Only when captured, and behind bars, he allows the good Jeanne now an abandoned mother into his heart. This is also a collection that reaches beyond its subject matter. The film implies it is only the love of a good woman freeing him from the self imposed jail, but one can also suggest he is not free to engage with the love of the good woman till the jail itself frees him to experience consequence.
Next Robert Bresson film: Michel may not himself even be aware of why he does what he does. Michael is the perfect example of existence preceding essence.
The film takes its cue from Dostoevsky's celebrated novel Crime and Punishment, in which the central character Raskolnikov argues that crime is a justifiable activity for a certain superior class of individual.
And most of his central characters seem imprisoned, if only in the soul, either through their misfortunes or because society has made it inevitable.
I enjoyed this film. Afterwards, Michel reflects on the morality of crime and arrives at the conclusion that he belongs to a privileged class in society which is not bound by the usual laws.
However, Michael is a bad pick pocket. He behaves as though pickpocketing was not only a legitimate career option but actually one that provides a great benefit to society.
With almost no narrative, the actors are blank canvases with minimal expression. His literary adaptations - from Giraudoux, Diderot, Bernanos and Dostoevsky - are often merely points of departure.
Michel may not himself even be aware of why he does what he does. It is also correct, you realise: Yet, in the film's powerful conclusion, which is surely one of the most exquisitely poignant moments in Bresson's entire oeuvre, the dark curtain is lifted and the truth is revealed.
In that way, picking pockets becomes an exciting, almost sexual adventure. For the pick pocket you are anonymous. Michael, it seems, is even above the rules he set for himself.
With his sublime mastery of film technique and his startling comprehension of the human psyche, Robert Bresson delivers what is possibly the most deeply moving screen portrayal of a man's fall from grace and his subsequent salvation.
The only way he can find a place for himself in society is to engineer a head-on collision with it. Nothing more is to be said of him. Despite the entreaties of a good best friend who supplies him with honest work, his dying mother who knows he can apply himself and the angelic Jeanne who begs him to visit his mother, Michael refuses to act according to conformity.
Michel is not the kind of character an audience can easily sympathise with he could go head-to-head with Norman Bates in the weirdness stakes and probably winand yet LaSalle somehow compels us to identify with him, to tease out the shard of goodness that lies buried deep within his troubled persona.
When humanity is busy doing something else the pickpocket strikes. He started off as a scriptwriter, so he knows the value of words. So much of the visual narrative takes place in these transitional spaces, implying Michael is in limbo. It is not an easy process but it is a rewarding one since you feel he has a profound understanding of what he is talking about.
A far more sombre and contemplative work, its emotional core lies further beneath the surface and there is a spiritual dimension that is so characteristic of Bresson, an impression that is reinforced by his choice of music.
This is common for cinema of this age, but Bresson uses it to intense dramatic effect. Unable to find work, he turns his back on his dying mother and his few friends, and embarks on a career of pickpocketing. Read movie and film review for Pickpocket () - Robert Bresson on AllMovie - Loosely based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky's classic.
David Reviews Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket [Criterion Dual Format Review] by David Blakeslee Back when I was embarked on my serious quest to build a complete Criterion Collection (a subject of significant interest as of late), I have to admit that the original DVD release of Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket bothered me quite a bit.
Jul 06, · One of the early images in Robert Bresson's “Pickpocket” ()shows the unfocused eyes of a man obsessed by excitement and fear. The man's name is Michel. He lives in Paris in a small room under the eaves, a garret almost filled by his cot and his books.4/4.
Dec 07, · By Robert Bresson, with an introduction by J. M. G. Le Clézio. Translated by Jonathan Griffin. 88 pages. New York Review Books. $ O ne of Robert Bresson's most compelling and intense films, Pickpocket is a powerfully moving study in sin and redemption which deserves to rated one of the high points of s French cinema.
The film takes its cue from Dostoevsky's celebrated novel Crime and Punishment, in which the central character Raskolnikov argues that crime is a justifiable activity for a certain superior class of individual. Screenplay: Bresson, inspired by Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment.
Music: Jean-Baptiste Lully. Starring: Martin Lasalle, Marika Green, Pierre Leymarie, Jean Pelegri. France,75 mins. Jean Pelegri, one of the non-professional actors in Bresson's Pickpocket, said of his director: "He knows what he wants but he doesn't know why.A review of robert bressons pickpocket