Detroit Film Theatre


DFT 101: DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST

Saturday, July 23, 2011

4:00 PM

(France/1950—directed by Robert Bresson)

A new priest (Claude Laydu) arrives in the French country village of Ambricourt to attend to his first parish. The apathetic and hostile rural congregation rejects him immediately. Through his diary entries, the suffering young man relays a crisis of faith that threatens to drive him away from the village and from God. With his fourth film, Robert Bresson (Pickpocket) began to implement his stylistic philosophy as a filmmaker, stripping away all inessential elements from his compositions, the dialogue and the music, exacting a purity of image and sound. The result is what writer-director Paul Schrader has described as Bresson’s “transcendental style” – a method of infusing every moment with a systemic spirituality that moves the storytelling to a nearly sublime level. Diary of a Country Priest is a magnificent, rarely-seen classic of French cinema. In French with English subtitles. (115 min.)

“One of the most profound emotional experiences in the history of film.” –Pauline Kael, The New Yorker