Robert Bresson

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Robert Bresson
BirthplacePuy-de-Dôme, Auvergne, France
Film director, screenwriter

Bresson, Robert

(rôbĕr` brĕsôN`), 1901–99, French film director and scriptwriter, b. Bromont-Lamottie, France. Bresson's films tend to be austere, unadorned, and concerned more with intellectual and spriritual values than plot or character. He evinced a unique aesthetic and spiritual approach to cinema in the 13 films he made during the course of 40 years. Bresson attempted to avoid the theatrical, preferring to use nonprofessional actors in scripts with a minimum of dialogue and creating images of nearly abstract simplicity. His films include Les Dames du Bois de Bologne (1944), The Diary of a Country Priest (1950), A Man Escaped (1956), Pickpocket (1959), The Trial of Joan of Arc (1965), Au Hasard, Balthazar (1966), Mouchette (1966), Lancelot of the Lake (1974), and Money (1983).


See I. Cameron, ed., The Films of Robert Bresson (1970) and T. Pipolo, Robert Bresson: A Passion for Film (2010).

Bresson, Robert


Born Sept. 25, 1907, in Bromont-la-Mothe, Auvergne. French film director.

Bresson studied painting and was an assistant director and a scriptwriter. His first full-length film was Angels of Sin (1943). Subsequent films included Ladies of Bois de Boulogne (1945, based on the theme of D. Diderot’s novel Jacques the Fatalist) and Diary of a Country Priest (after G. Bernanos; 1950). His most significant work was The Condemned One Escaped (1956). Bresson’s work is characterized by a keen interest in problems of morality; the action of his films is devoid of ostentatious effects and inherently charged with drama and emotion. Among his other films are The Trial of Joan of Arc (1962), Balthazar by Chance (1966), Mouchette (1967), and A Gentle Creature (after Dostoevsky; 1968). A considerable number of Bresson’s films have been awarded prizes at international film festivals.


Estève, M. Robert Bresson. [Paris, 1966.] (Bibliography.)
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