A Man Escaped

A Man Escaped ★★★★

The challenge is maximizing a poverty of resources. For the subject, it’s a matter of imposed necessity, for the filmmaker a self-imposed challenge. Bresson’s approach is fairly spectacular: lots of cavernous black and white and deep focus largely rejected, which makes the frame sometimes even more overwhelming (e.g. the shot of prisoners filing out into the courtyard frame foreground-left, their gun-toting guard in a beam of seemingly natural light back-right—he’s in control of what’s happening but the opposite of compositional center).

It’s really funny how many times the prisoners are told by their guards that they’re talking too much, or tell each other to be silent. Must be the only mature-period Bresson movie where there are complaints about an excess of dialogue.