'A Man Escaped' Directed by Robert Bresson, A Critique: The Purity of Models

Essay by mizzsusuUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, December 2006

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"Model. Two mobile eyes in a mobile head, itself on a mobile body".

Robert Bresson

"Films can only be made by by-passing the will of those who appear in them, using not what they do, but what they are".

Robert Bresson

Robert Bresson, a brilliant French film director who's unique techniques in displaying flawless realism, with deep simplicity marked a total new era of artistic film. Bresson rejected theater, and it's fakeness and strived only to project his own universe, and in turn his own real. Bresson's universe is not that of everyday reality. It differs not only because it is an artistic universe, an expression for his art outcries, but because it makes no attempt to pass for the everyday universe. (Ayfre, p.42) In Bresson's "A Man Escaped" (Un Condamne a mort s'est echappe), a film which tells us the true story of a French Lieutenant who escaped from a German prison, just hours before his execution; it is seen quite clearly.

Bresson projects this film according to his own reality and his own realism in many aspects. The most important of them all is his technique in directing the actors, (or models as he liked to call them), and what their acting reflects. This essay shall discuss the above, and shed light on the realism he projects through his models, with utmost simplicity.

Bresson rejected the species of involvement created in films by the expressiveness of the acting. (Sontag, 62). He desired to capture the essence of the human soul, which led him to remove anything fake, which he viewed professional acting as, therefore leading him to always hire non-professional and non-beautiful models in his films. In "A Man Escaped", that model was Francois Leterrier. Bresson had the actual resistance fighter Andre Devigny present...