Robert Bresson Eric Rhode - Essay

Eric Rhode

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[In A Gentle Creature] Bresson follows the content, if not the method of [Dostoevsky's story of the same name] closely. It is as though he had listed all its main points, then filmed them with as much clarity as possible so that no one should misunderstand their meaning. A spareness surrounds almost every phrase and gesture, a spareness emphasised by the familiar Bressonian device of using low-tensioned interludes: people walking up and down stairs, opening and closing doors. In the four opening shots he establishes the suicide in an authoritative way: a hand presses down on a door handle; an elderly maid, Anna, watches a table fall on a balcony; a white shawl falls slowly through the air; the girl lies dead on...

(The entire section is 973 words.)