Robert Bresson Gilles Jacob - Essay

Gilles Jacob

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[The] novelty of [Au Hasard, Balthazar] lies less in the wealth of happenings than in the eye, that veiled but disenchanted eye, which Bresson turns on the modern world. The price of progress in this mechanical age is la civilisation du weekend…. Here Bresson clips the wings from critical comments like "irrelevant to the times," "more and more withdrawn from the world." For if the dancers (us?) in the café sequence seem indifferent to the fiendish destruction which rages round them, the teenage thirst for liberty echoes that of the underdeveloped countries, their need to inflict torture proves that the Algerian tragedy still exists, and their fire-crackers soar into the same sky as space rockets. The...

(The entire section is 839 words.)