Notes on the Cinematograph
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Notes on the Cinematograph

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Description

Robert Bresson's Notes on the Cinematographer are working memos which the great French director made for his own use. In all of them, Bresson reflects with a craftsman's insight on techniques and their philosophical and aesthetic implications. Not surprisingly, these acute reflections will not only sharpen a filmmaker's sensibility but that of any artist in any medium. Bresson makes some quite radical distinctions between what he terms "cinematography" and something quite different: "cinema" - which is for him nothing but an attempt to photograph theater and use it for the screen. Director of The Trial of Joan of Arc, Pickpocket, A Prisoner Escapes, Diary of a Country Priest, Money, and many other classic films, Bresson is, quite simply, one of the most brilliant cinematographers in the history of film.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 130 x 202 x 5mm | 133g
  • The New York Review of Books, Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Main
  • 1681370247
  • 9781681370248
  • 43,046

Review quote

"The collection Bresson on Bresson: Interviews 1943-1983 and Bresson's own Notes on the Cinematograph are primers for the gradual understanding of Robert Bresson, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein...Notes on the Cinematograph is the ultimate refinement of Bresson's thought, a loosely grouped succession of aphorisms and Zen koans." --J. Hoberman, The New York Times "Half-philosophy, half-poetry, Notes on the Cinema-to-graph reads in places like The Art of War for filmmakers." --John Semley, The A.V. Club "The power of Bresson's films lies in the fact that his purity and fastidiousness are at the same time an idea about life, about what Cocteau called 'inner style, ' about the most serious way of being human." --Susan Sontag "Short, aphoristic fragments that guide Bresson's film making. Scribbed down as 'notes to self, ' reading them in whole is astonishing & inspiring, a totality of a brilliant filmmaker." --Mike Kitchell, HTMLGiantshow more

About Robert Bresson

Robert Bresson (1901-1999) was born in Bromont-Lamothe, France. He attended the Lycee Lakanal in Sceaux, and moved to Paris after graduation, hoping to become a painter. He directed a short comedy, Affaires publiques, in 1934, but his work was curtailed by the outbreak of World War II. He enlisted in the French army in 1939 and was captured in 1940, spending a year in a labor camp as a prisoner of war. After his release he returned to Paris and directed Angels of Sin (1943), his first full-length film, under the German occupation. Les dames du Bois de Boulogne followed in 1945, and in 1951 Diary of a Country Priest was met with widespread acclaim. His next film, A Man Escaped (1956), which follows the memoirs of Andre Devigny, a French Resistance leader incarcerated during World War II, became a hit. He made eleven more films over the next three decades, including Mouchette (adapted from the Georges Bernanos novel of the same name, published as an NYRB Classic); Au Hasard Balthazar; Pickpocket; Lancelot of the Lake; and L'Argent. Throughout his career Bresson eschewed the use of theatrical techniques and employed nonprofessional actors whom he referred to as models. Raised in the Catholic faith, he worked on and off throughout his career on an adaptation of the book of Genesis, which never saw fruition. He died in Droue-sur-Drouette at the age of ninety-eight. Robert Bresson's interviews, edited by Mylene Bresson, are collected in Bresson on Bresson, published by New York Review Books. Jonathan Griffin (1906-1990) served as the director of BBC European Intelligence during World War II. Among the authors he has translated are Jean Giono, Fernando Pessoa, and Nikos Kazantzakis. A collection of Griffin's poetry, In Earthlight, was published in 1995. J.M.G. Le Clezio was born in Nice in 1940. He has written more than forty books, including works of fiction and memoir as well as collections of essays and books for children. In 2008 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.show more

Rating details

1,142 ratings
4.3 out of 5 stars
5 52% (593)
4 32% (365)
3 12% (138)
2 3% (35)
1 1% (11)
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