Les modeles de “Pickpocket”

In this personal and poetic 2003 video documentary, Babette Mangolte—possibly the best cinematographer now working in experimental cinema (she's also shot major films by Chantal Akerman, Richard Foreman, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Marcel Hanoun, Sally Potter, Jackie Raynal, Yvonne Rainer, and Michael Snow)—interviews the three leading performers from Robert Bresson's wondrous 1959 Pickpocket. Bresson wanted to convey directly, without acting, the spiritual essence of individuals, which is why he called his performers “interpreters” or “models.” These three were clearly marked by the experience of working for him, and as Mangolte moves from France to Austria to Mexico meeting them she seems as responsive to their self-aware vibrancy and as respectful of their mysteries as Bresson was. 89 min.

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