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Pickpocket
     

Pickpocket

4.0 1
Director: Robert Bresson, Martin Lasalle, Marika Green, Pierre Leymarie

Cast: Robert Bresson, Martin Lasalle, Marika Green, Pierre Leymarie

 

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Director Robert Bresson chose Uruguayan nonactor Martin LaSalle for his leading man in Pickpocket. LaSalle's inexperience works against the film for some viewers, though Bresson himself was satisfied because his star proved himself a quick study in the art of lifting wallets (a genuine pickpocket was engaged as "technical adviser"). Essentially, the story is a

Overview

Director Robert Bresson chose Uruguayan nonactor Martin LaSalle for his leading man in Pickpocket. LaSalle's inexperience works against the film for some viewers, though Bresson himself was satisfied because his star proved himself a quick study in the art of lifting wallets (a genuine pickpocket was engaged as "technical adviser"). Essentially, the story is a character study of a cocky young criminal who becomes so entranced by the act of picking pockets that he literally can't stop himself. The Bressonian technique of concentrating more on the mechanics of the plot than the emotions of the characters is, as always, a matter of taste. Filmed in 1959, Pickpocket was released in the US in 1963. Loosely inspired by Feodor Dostoyevsky's novel Crime and Punishment.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Loosely based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky's classic novel Crime and Punishment, Robert Bresson's Pickpocket (1959) examines the director's signature concerns with faith and redemption through the experience of a compulsive thief. Bresson's stylistic purity of head-on shots, expressively restrained mise-en-scène, gracefully precise editing, spare dialogue, and impassive non-actors captures the near-erotic charge that Michel gets out of his thievery and obliquely outlines the emotional core of his amoral morality. Bresson's taut, elliptical narrative never offers an easy explanation for Michel's fatalistic narcissism, yet Michel's carefully detailed pickpocketing techniques, and a bravura sequence in which Michel and two accomplices lift wallets on a train, reveal the thrill in getting away with a skillful crime. Although Martin LaSalle's face seems to reveal nothing, in keeping with Bresson's trademark insistence that his actors' faces express as little as possible, Michel's climactic salvation, as he accepts the human connection that he had assiduously denied, becomes all the more moving in its simplicity. Shown in competition at the 1960 Berlin Film Festival, Pickpocket was not released in the U.S. until 1963.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/15/2014
UPC:
0715515118811
Original Release:
1959
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Sales rank:
20,325

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Pickpocket 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago