Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Beast of Burden

Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) - Bresson
It took me this long to see this finally and I got nothing much to say. It's profoundly sad and beautiful and moving. And I didn't expect that from a movie whose main character is a donkey. Unlike any other animal films, our donkey starts as a donkey and remains a donkey until the end. Yet it pulls so much empathy and emotion from us. The donkey is the (mostly) silent witness of all the human follies around him. He takes all the abuses and neglect in and dies alone. No character notices or mourns its passing.

Then there is Marie (Anne Wiazemsky). She is sad and beautiful. No wonder Godard hurried up and married then 19-yr old unknown actress right after seeing the movie. It's also the first film I felt there is no excess anywhere, that all the 90 some minutes are totally justifiable. Edits, closeups, sound, everything. The film is a transcendental beauty.