He moves through so many many facets of society so quickly, efficiently and daringly. Today's filmmakers should learn a lesson with their 2 hour films which never get to the point.
You will never forget the car chase scene, where he as usual builds so much through the soundtrack. And the dog, roaming from room to room in a pinnacle scene is revolutionary.
Money corrupts, then and now, and his attack on french society was maybe another reason he was never given funding for his films.
Bresson's ability to show humanity, surprise, horror and complexity reminds of his hero Doestovesky and in this case Tolstoy.
The ending, the final scene and shot, pierces your soul.
This time, Bresson's trademark minimalism becomes a neutral style that is more concerned with the moral implications of tragic misunderstandings and their irreversible repercussions rather than the grisly execution of the crimes. The level of score-less realism is somehow prophesying the future disturbingly quiet and engrossing lens of Austrian director Michael Haneke, moving from event to event with absolute confidence, like if the film had some remarkable level of self-awareness in the delivery of its contents.
Some melodramatic plot points indeed rise to the surface, but the low-key direction by Bresson keeps everything all the more realistic and interesting instead of clichéd. In this sense, just like Haneke, violence plays an important role in the story. Violence (both physical and psychological) is a consequence, the core of an unfortunate aftermath that was never called for. Alongside the aforementioned minimalism, the execution and the silence, when violence enters the stage, it speaks its statement in a shocking way and becomes all the more meaningful.
A great farewell of one of France's most influential filmmakers ever, L'Argent is a powerful commentary on moral implications portrayed as a chain of events that escape the extent of our judgments, and certainly an influential film to directors from Kieslowski to Haneke in all of its intentional nihilism.
There are a couple of sticky plot points that weren't made clear, and the main character, Yvon Targe (Christian Patey), is a guy that is hard to connect with. But the over all arc is strong enough to over come these weaknesses.
In the French master's last film, he gives us a demonstration of how society narrows us down to criminals, or narrows us down to BE criminals. It tells the story with multiple characters, but that is just to get around and expand on certain barriers in the story, but I certainly prefer it that way. It's style is one that became influential, and it certainly fits this film. If you don't understand why this is perfect, allow me to expand; the cinematography is constantly in affect and never skips a beat, it's construction around multiple characters is so simply done, but is so refreshing and is a reinvention of it (compared to "Nashville" (1975), let's say), and it's so bleak that it never catches itself off guard, but we still feel the full power of it. But, even though it is so evenly amazing in every aspect, a lot of what I'll remember will come from it's masterful cinematography. *Spoiler* Particularly the last scene where the camera follows the dog as he discovers the murders just a second before they occur. Wow, was that brilliant. Also the scene where it just shows the lighting from under the door, and the opening shot, and how we later figure out what it was. Well, anyway, while there is so much said and to be said about this perfect masterpiece, it barely says anything on the surface, and I think that is why I admire it so dearly.