Eulogy: ROBERT BRESSON

The Hollywood style--brash, chatty, muscular--is the only one most moviegoers know. But there is another, sparer sort, where penetrating gazes take the place of explosive technical virtuosity. It is caviar to the Hollywood popcorn, and for 40 years ROBERT BRESSON was its finest and most influential purveyor. In 13 features from Les Anges du Peche (1943) to L'Argent (1983), the Frenchman who called himself a "jolly pessimist" went his own thorny way and, through his severe, seductive example, established the dominant style of a minority art form. His films, with little dialogue and music, are in effect silent pictures; they are...

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