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Since it began screening films to the public in 1985, the American Cinematheque has provided diverse film programming and immersive in-person discussions and events with thousands of filmmakers and luminaries, presenting new and repertory cinema to Los Angeles.
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Aero Theatre | Robert Bresson: An American Cinematheque Retrospective
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Home / Now Showing / DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST / A MAN ESCAPED
DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST, 1951, Rialto Pictures, 115 min, France, Dir: Robert Bresson.
Long considered a summit of world cinema, Bresson’s adaptation of George Bernanos’ renowned novel – about a young priest whose attempts to assuage the suffering of the people in his village are met with malice and indifference – established the austere style for which Bresson subsequently became famous. Claude Laydu, his downcast visage among the gallery of indelible faces in Bresson’s ouevre, brings a wounding soulfulness to his role as the ill-fated priest.
A MAN ESCAPED, 1956, Janus Films, 95 min, France, Dir: Robert Bresson.
François Truffaut pronounced A MAN ESCAPED “the most important film of the last 10 years” when it was first released; for many critics, including Jonathan Rosenbaum, it continues to maintain its reputation as the pinnacle of Bresson’s cinema. Based on resistance leader Andre Dévigny’s account of his escape from the Nazi prison at Montluc just hours before he was to be executed – and on Bresson’s own memories of his 18-month confinement in a German POW camp during the war – the film is legendary for the authenticity of its setting, the rigor with which Bresson recreates the painstaking preparations for escape, and the use of Mozart’s C Minor Mass to elevate the grueling routines of life. A work of metaphysical suspense and resolute beauty.
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