OTB#37: Un condamné à mort s’est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut

A Man Escaped. Robert Bresson. 1956. ⚄

There’s four films by Bresson on this “officially the best” list, which is a lot? I don’t think there’s anybody with five movies, but Bresson is tied for the coveted Most Movies On The List prize with Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Stanley Kubrick and John Cassavetes. Hm… In total, there’s 63 directors represented on the list…

[some time passes]

Wow, even for a Bresson movie, this is pretty stark. The acting is pared down to an absolute minimum (that is, everybody’s got their resting bitch faces on, I mean, er, engage none of their facial muscles), and the milieu is as simple as it gets (a prison), and the protagonist does a voice-over that states, in the plainest way possible what he’s doing:

It’s fascinating that something as tense and gripping could result from something this simple.

[more time passes]

But, OK, most of this movie is watching a guy do crafts (making a rope from wire, hooks to get over a wall, etc). It’s… I have to admit to zoning out on some of the scenes. Whenever there’s some, like, action happening, it’s studiously kept out of the frame.

[even more time passes]

The final sequence is marvellous, though.

This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

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