L’argent (Bresson, 1983)

Watched this one a few months ago, but the subtitles were so poor that I had trouble following it. After downloading .srt and .sub/.idx films from everywhere, all of which were incorrect, I ultimately gave-up. Recently, it came to my attention that the whole film is uploaded on YouTube – with correct subtitles, and in decent quality; so, I finally got around to finishing it.

L’argent is Robert Bresson’s final film, and, in my opinion, it is the film that most clearly and completely defines his style of film-making. All that is characteristically Bresson is in this film – minimal, meticulous, nearly mechanical camera movements and cuts, extremely subdued emotional drama, aspects of scenes or parts of the narrative not in picture, etc..

The film may come off as rather cold – there is little emotional resonance – however, L’argent’s discourse on money as the root of human corruption is a powerful one. Though it’s a rather difficult film to watch, and even more difficult to enjoy, it is certainly an impressive achievement in Bresson’s ouevre of ascetic filmmaking. Whether you connect with this film or not, it will surely leave a deep impression – one which will last for years.


About Kamran Ahmed

I have a Masters in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto. I work as a freelance writer and film critic in Vancouver. My writing is primarily distributed through Next Projection, an online film journal based in Toronto.
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