Communicants


Yet, it is evident that Bresson’s undertaking is somehow related to the work of Stroheim and Renoir. The separating of sound and of the image to which it relates cannot be understood without a searching examination of the aesthetics of realism in sound. It is just as mistaken to see it as an illustration of a text, as a commentary on an image. Their parallelism maintains that division which is present to our senses. It continues the Bressonian dialectic between abstraction and reality thanks to which we are concerned with a single reality-that of human souls. In no sense does Bresson return to the expressionism of the silent film. On the one hand he excludes on of the components of reality in order to reproduce it, deliberately stylized on a sound track, partially independent of the image. In other words, it is as if the final rerecording was composed of sound directly recorded with scrupulous fidelity and a text postsynchronized on a monotone. But, as we have pointed out, this text is itself a second reality, a “cold aesthetic fact.” Its realism is its style, while the style of the image is primarily its reality, and the style of the film is precisely the conflict between the two.
-Andre Bazin, The Stylistics of Robert Bresson
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Yet, it is evident that Bresson’s undertaking is somehow related to the work of Stroheim and Renoir. The separating of sound and of the image to which it relates cannot be understood without a searching examination of the aesthetics of realism in sound. It is just as mistaken to see it as an illustration of a text, as a commentary on an image. Their parallelism maintains that division which is present to our senses. It continues the Bressonian dialectic between abstraction and reality thanks to which we are concerned with a single reality-that of human souls. In no sense does Bresson return to the expressionism of the silent film. On the one hand he excludes on of the components of reality in order to reproduce it, deliberately stylized on a sound track, partially independent of the image. In other words, it is as if the final rerecording was composed of sound directly recorded with scrupulous fidelity and a text postsynchronized on a monotone. But, as we have pointed out, this text is itself a second reality, a “cold aesthetic fact.” Its realism is its style, while the style of the image is primarily its reality, and the style of the film is precisely the conflict between the two.

-Andre Bazin, The Stylistics of Robert Bresson



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