In this short somewhat aggressive interview of Robert Bresson, we can see an almost hostile reaction to his ideas and form. It interests me in several ways, particularly since it is a historical object now itself, but really because not only is Bresson an influence and inspiration for me, but I find in his techniques a renewed hope for film.
It is clear from this interview that he is making films in the way he has to, he is of course pushing boundaries, but we are not viewing someone with pretension for inventive use of form, rather a film maker who is following his heart as well as his head. Moreover someone who is not afraid of sharing their own vision, and particular view of the world.
Robert Bresson has become a legend, his influence on the French new wave movement is undoubtable, Godard himself said “Robert Bresson is French cinema, as Dostoevsky is the Russian novel and Mozart is the German music.”
The honesty or truth that he so tried to engender in his work, the plain almost non acting style he adopted with cast is reflected here in his responses to the interviewers.
This and his wish to engage with his audience through feeling first rather than thinking remains for me at least one of the most revolutionary decisions in cinema. He did not just speak of this concept and apply it where emotion suited a story he made it the premise of his work, honesty and connection, But his ideas and interrogation of the human condition remain it seems some of the most deeply profound and searching. This makes his work look all the more startling and fresh today, in our late era of Hollywood factory polished product.
I will leave the last word to my All time favourite film maker, Andrei Tarkovsky from his book Sculpting in time. “perhaps the only artist in cinema, who achieved the perfect fusion of the finished work with a concept theoretically formulated beforehand.” (Tarkovskii et al., 1989a)