Friday, 13 March 2015
Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)
This is one of the films on my list that has been worrying me; a clinically shot film about faith. Faith is guess work, assumption, and I prefer conclusions based on fact, knowledge. On the other hand I love donkeys, or dunkeys as it's pronounced down here. Okay Bresson, give me your best shot...
An innocent donkey is baptised and loved by innocents. Persecuted, beaten and chased by those he loves. Even when the plot does not directly concern Balthazar he is still witness to humankind's greatest gifts and it's deepest transgressions. Okay, so because we see how Balthazar suffers, and through him we can see our faults and learn to be nice to one another. That's not so bad. On the other hand we shouldn't need a parable about an abused donkey, or the promise of a carrot to learn morality.
The cinematography and editing is beautiful at times but the stilted (or tired) performances may not be to everyone's taste.
One thing I noted: how similar the young thugs on bikes at the beginning of the film are to the roller-blading demons from Dogma.
Original letterboxd review