Pickpocket took [Bresson] to an ultimate limit of virtuosity. "You see," he seemed to be saying, "I can apply my vision to anything." And after the final fadeout one could only wonder where his cryptic and fastidious extremism would lead him next.
With a master-stroke of self-discipline … The Trial of Joan of Arc … looks for a way back to the essence of that vision. If it didn't sound dangerously like a paradox, one could say that here Bresson discards all the flourishes of his style…. Everything is stripped of decoration: the enigmatic faces, the settings of curtains and brick walls, the hole in the dark wall through which hostile eyes peer into the cell. Everything that...
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