Au hasard Balthazar (1966)

Au hasard Balthazar
Director: Robert Bresson
Writer: Robert Bresson
Cast: Anne Wiazemsky, Walter Green, François Lafarge, Jean-Claude Guilbert, Philippe Asselin, Pierre Klossowski, Nathalie Joyaut, Marie-Claire Fremont, Jean-Joël Barbier
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 2.11.2017
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Plot:
When the donkey Balthazar is born, his life seems pretty good. He is loved by the kids in his family and by Marie, the neighbor’s girl. But when hard times fallon the family and the have to leave, things also take a turn for the worse for Balthazar. Even when he is reunited with the teenage Marie (Anne Wiazemsky), who is struggling herself, she can’t make things easier for him.

I watched Au hasard Balthazar mostly because it’s a classic and I had never seen it. But it just proved to me again that Nouvelle Vague really isn’t my thing. I found it mostly exhausting.

I have to admit that I kept falling asleep every once in a while throughout the entire film, although never as much as I would have liked because I found the film so very tiring. It felt incredibly long, it just dragged so much.

It might have been better if I had understood any of the characters in the film. But they remained utterly incomprehensible to me, especially Marie. I can’t help but think that this might be because it’s a film by a man about a teenage girl, but the stylized acting also had a big role to play. It just didn’t work for me and never translated into any kind of emotional impact.

At least the donkey was very, very cute. But as cute as it is, it didn’t manage to save the film from all the artsy Nouvelle Vague-ness of it. And that is something I find films definitely need saving from.

Summarizing: Exhausting and really not my cup of tea.

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