Robert Bresson Charles Thomas Samuels - Essay

Charles Thomas Samuels

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Une Femme Douce] commences with the [heroine's] suicide. What draws us on, like [her] husband, is the desire to know why. But to know why in Bresson (as is not the case in Dostoevski), we have to watch intently everything that happens because nothing is explained and even the explainer is an item to be fathomed. Many viewers find Bresson cold and remote, but this coldness may be only a reflection of their own passivity. If you can be excited by the search for understanding, you can be excited by Bresson.

So Bresson forces total concentration…. Only at the very end of each film does Bresson release us from our hush of contemplation with a shock that sums up what we've seen, as when bubbles...

(The entire section is 550 words.)