The Invention of Robert Bresson: The Auteur and His Market

By Colin Burnett | Go to book overview

Afterword

LIKE MANY POSTWAR intellectuals, Father Paul Doncoeur became fascinated by the fact that cinema was swiftly becoming a serious form of cultural expression. A religious expert, he advised Walter Wanger on his 1948 adaptation of the Joan of Arc story, starring Ingrid Bergman, and in 1951 tried his hand at film criticism, writing a review of Journal d’un curé de campagne (1951) for the Jesuit weekly Études religieuses, for which he served as editor. He was intrigued not only by the film’s faithfulness to Catholic doctrine but with Robert Bresson’s unusual relationship with the Parisian film-going public, especially given the interest the long-awaited adaptation had stirred among cinephiles. “I do not think that it was Robert Bresson’s intention to mobilize for his film the powers of publicity or the favoritism of critics,” he began. “‘A film,’ [Bresson] likes to say, ‘finds its own aims. Nothing can compensate for failures that belong to it and it alone.’”1 From Doncoeur’s perspective, the candid assertion that a film’s successes and failures owed little to critical reception revealed just why Bresson ought to be considered apart from an industry obsessed with publicity—something that Doncoeur would have observed firsthand while working in Hollywood.

What Doncoeur found intriguing was that Bresson’s distinctive sense of responsibility toward his work and eschewal of the forms of critical attention often sought within the industry, far from serving to separate the director from his surroundings, became the basis for his unique bond with postwar film culture—with cinephiles in particular:

It is precisely this honesty [about publicity and critical favoritism] that initi-
ates the whole game…. It is unlikely that a sympathetic audience, restive to
displays of skill and cleverness, does not recognize a measure of good taste
here [in Bresson]; and that the respect it [the audience] receives for its intel-
ligence is not then returned in kind to the worker [Bresson]. The one and the
other grow due to the severity of the game, and, dare I say, of the battle.2

Though brief, Doncoeur’s analysis was a remarkably astute and even prescient one. As critics and scholars of film and media might today, he was attempting to map the cultural practices and values that linked two spheres sometimes thought to be separate—namely, those of auteur filmmaking and of reception culture. Bresson and his admirers were not crudely seeking favor with one another; however, their distinct performances nonetheless initiated a cultural exchange whose rewards consisted of the acknowledgement of intelligence and good taste

-238-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Invention of Robert Bresson: The Auteur and His Market
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 272

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.