Tuesday, March 22, 2011


If you have not seen Bresson's cinema and/or not read Bresson's Notes on A Cinematographer you're a weak cinephile. A true solider put up these notes online. Now you have no excuse.

Check out this key piece of Auteur theory here


  1. YES! This book and Bresson in general are so important for cinema, especially in his quest to move cinema away from theatricality, which, unfortunately, still exists today. I would say read this book and also read Brecht's Epic Theater. These two texts are essential for anyone who wants to create unique, non-theatrically, cinematic films.

  2. Although I have immense respect for Bresson's dedication to cinema, those who read this shouldn't abide all his notes. Non-expressive characters who oft stare longingly into the distance might be something he really loved, but to see characters like that in every movie would likely turn me off from movies for good. Also, I believe in the years since Bresson, music has become a very cinematic element; not a bad thing, if used right, it's very advantageous, lends emotions impossible to convey by character and story, which I suppose goes against Bresson's ideals, but not all of his ideas are golden.

  3. I do agree this is more of a blueprint or something for filmmakers now to read to help them think of cinema in new and different ways than what is offered by the mainstream. At the same time, I think Bresson was interested in using music and sound and I believe he used this in a more interesting and cinematic way than is often used these days. I think when using music you have to understand what is useful and relevant and what is merely an easy way of creating an emotion or atmosphere without really having to try. I think if you watch Bresson films like Pickpocket or Au Hasard Balthazar, I think you can see how he uses sound design and music quite well and doesn't allow it to manipulate the viewer into feeling false emotions. Also, I don't think I would mind seeing only non-expressive characters in films, but that's probably just me, I don't care for acting very much...

  4. As one of your previous actors, I know. Haha.

    If music is used to make people sob then forget about, shouldn't even exist in a film in that case. It really all depends, I mostly like when it's used to capture a mood and works in sync with the setting.

    Anyway, you're right, this book is vital for helping people take film more seriously at the very least. It's of my deepest concern that books like this are being read at film schools, but, I really don't know how likely that is.