Les Modeles de Pickpocket

Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | April 8, 2004

Thursday, April 8, 2004, 8pm

models-of-pickpocket-1

Babette Mangolte in person!

Austere, wrenching and inimitable, the films of Robert Bresson are a touchstone for world cinephiles, and many regard Pickpocket (1959) as his greatest work. Babette Mangolte’s fascinating documentary offers startling insight into the guarded director’s creative process by tracking down the 1959 film’s principals, including Martin Lassalle, the film’s Raskolnikov-like protagonist, whom she discovered in Mexico City. In a series of interviews, the actors – all nonprofessionals at the time – describe perfectionist Bresson’s grueling methods, by which the performances were stripped of all artifice and became “models” for the director’s ideas.  Filmmaker Mangolte – acclaimed for her work as cinematographer for Chantal Akerman, Yvonne Rainer, Sally Potter and others – has given us startling insight into a guarded artist’s creative process (Jim Trainor). 2003, Babette Mangolte, France/USA, 89 min, video.

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