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Zombie-land (but go ahead, if you're a big Bresson fan)
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written by talltale June 20, 2005 - 1:44 PM PDT
5 out of 7 members found this review helpful
Robert Bresson's final film, though beloved by some, strikes me as not perhaps the best possible exit piece for this one-of-a-kind director. L'ARGENT--from a Tolstoy story with a better title than the all-purpose "Money" used here--shows the later Bresson, far into his my-interest-is-youth period, as described by the critic who did the commentary track, Kent Jones.

Unfortunately, the farther into his career that this director ventured (his later films were the first that I viewed, which is why it took added years before I could appreciate him), the performances of his cast members apprear more like those of the "extras" in a George Romero epic. That is to say, zombie-like. Some fans/critics have taken this to signify reality--which it does not begin to resemble. It does make one wonder, though: Did Bresson never pay attention to the way people--particularly young people--actually behave? Any quirky tic and odd manner of conduct are dispensed with (and I'm sorry but we ALL have these), leaving an unreal void in their place.

The story itself is pretty interesting: What appears initially to be the old "piece of money moves from hand to hand" plot turns out to be different and far-reaching. In place of his usual redemption theme, as Jones points out, the director has moved into the area of disgrace and ruin. If you're a Bresson fan, you won't want to miss this, but I warn you up front that you'll have to forgive quite a lot.

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(Average 7.40)
30 Votes
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