Transcendental Style in Film - Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer Paul Schrader. Da Capo, 1972.

directingThe Trial of I oanof Arc. RobertBresson

films of Robert Bresson exemplify the transcendental style in the West, but, unlike Ozu's, are estranged from their culture and are financially unsuccessful. In a medium which has been primarily intuitive, individualized and humanistic, Bresson's work is anachronistically nonintuitive, impersonal, and iconographic. The transcendental style in Bresson's films has not been unchronicled. Am6d6e Ayfre, Andr6 Bazin, and Susan Sontag have all written perceptiveanalysesof Bresson's"Jansenist direction," "phenomenology of salvation and grace," and his "spiritual style." The gualitiesof transcendentalstyle have also been chronicledby Bressonhimself. Bressonis a rarity among film-makers: he apparently knows exactly what he does and why he does it. The many statements Bresson has made in interviews and discussions,properly arranged, would constitute an accurate analysisof his films (a statementwhich can be made of no other film-maker to my knowledge), and any study of Bressonmust take into account his astute self-criticism. Bresson'soutput has been meager: nine films in twenty-sevenyears.Bresson'scareer,like Ozu's, has been one of refinement, but, unlike Ozu, he served no lengthy apprenticeship. His first fllm, Les Affaires Publiques (tgl+), has apparently been "7ost," but his second,Les Anges du P6chb (rg+l) , displayed what one critic called a "vision almost mature."l After Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne (tq++), a film which found Bressonsomewhat at odds with his material, Bresson entered into a cycle of films which present the transcendental style at its purest. The four films of the prison cycle deal with the questions of freedom and imprisonment, or, in theological terms, of free will and predestination."All of Bresson'sfilms have a common theme: the meaning of confinement and liberty," Susan Sontag writes. "The imagery of the religious vocation and of crime are used jointly.

'l'hc

6o

TRANSCENDENTAL srYLE

B R E ssoN

61,

Both lead to'the cell.'"2 All of Bresson'sprison cycle films concernspiritual release:in Diary of a Country Priest,(LeI ournal occurswithin the d'un Curb de Compagne, r95o) this release confinesof a religious order, in A Man Escnped(Un Condamni d Mort S'est Echapp6,ry56) it concurswith escapef rom prison, in Pickpocket (Pickpocket,ag5g)it concurswith imprisonment, in The Trial of I oan of Arc (Le Procbsde I eanned' Arc, 196r), it occurs both within the confines of religious belief and a physical prison. Bresson'slatest three f1l11.s-AuHasard,Balthazar (1966), ^Mouchette (1966), andlLne Femme D ouce (t 96g)-have explored and expanded some of his traditional themes, but do not as yet seem (it may be too early to tell) to have achievedthe resolution of the prison cycle. Bresson's prison cycle provides an excellent opportunity to style in depth for severalreasons:one, study the transcendental metaphor is endemic to certain theological becausethe prison Bresson'sstatementsclear up much of the questions;two, because ambiguity in which critics are often forced to oPerate;and three, becausethere are few cultural elements intermingled with transcendental style in his films. In ozu's films the transcendental style had to be extricated from the culture; in Bresson's films this has alreadyhappenedto a large degree:Bressonis alienatedfrom his contemporary culture. Like Ozu, Bressonis a formalist: "A film is not a spectacle, it is in the first placea style."3Bressonhas a rigid, predictable style which varies little from film to film, subject to subject' The content has little effect on his form. Bresson applies the same ascetic style to such "appropriate" subjects as the suffering priest inDiary of a Country Priest as he doesto such "inappropriate" s subjectsas the ballroom sequence in Les Dames du Bois de inUne FemmeDouce' ln Boulogneand the love-making sequence accidents on the set can affect a director's style, discussing how RaymonJDurgnat remarked, "It's no exaggeration to say that ,,r.h ,tyhttt as Dreyer and Bressonwould imperturbably maintain their characteristic styles if the entire cast suddenly turned up in pimples and wooden Legs."a Spiritual sentimentshave often led to formalism' The Iiturgy, mass,hymns, hagiolatry,Prayers' and incantationsare all foimalistic methods designedto expressthc Transccndent. F or m, a s w a s s ta te de a rl i e r,h a s th e uni qtrcatri l i ty l o t' rP rt' ssthe

Transcendentrepeatedlyfor large and varied numbers of people. Bresson's statement on his art is also applicable to religious forms and rituals: "The subjectof a film is only a pretext. Form much more than content touchesa viewer and elevateshim.,,5 Susan Sontag has gone so far as to say that Bresson,s:toIT . 'ilp what he walqlgrg1 "6 a statement which i, ,o-ilEli--ambiguous becausewhen a work of art is successfulthe content is indiscernible from the form. It would be more helpful to sav that in Bresson'sfilms (and in transcendental style) the form is ihe operative element-it "does the work.,, The sublect matter becomesthe vehicle (the "pretext,,) through which the form

elementwhereasthe subject matter is necessarily parochial, having been determined by the particular culture irom which it springs. And if a work of art is to be truly transcendent (above any culture), it must rely on its universal elements. Appropriately, Bressonhas set his priorities straight: ,,I am more occupiedwith the spe_cial language of the cinema than with the sublect of my fllms."7 Both Ozu and Bresson are formalists in the traditional religious manner; they use form as the primary method of inducing belief. This makes the viewer an active participant in the creative process-he must react contextually to the form. Religious formalism demands a precise knowledge of audience psychology; the film-maker must know, shot for shot, how the spectator will react. "I attach enormous importance to form. Enormous. And I believe that the form leads to the rhythm. Now the rhythms are all powerful. Access to the audience is before everything else a matter of rhythm."8 THr TnauscENDENTAL Sryrt: rHr Evrnyp.o.y The everyday in films has precedents in religious art; it is what one Byzantine scholar calls "surface-aesthetics.,,e A fanatical attention to minute detail is evident in Chinese porcelain, Islam carpets, and Byzantine architec ture (belopoeika and thaumntopoike).In the third-century Alexandrian school the study of Scriptr-rre becamea matter of minute detail; the

In film. I have kept a tone bordering uPon the documentary in order to conservethis aspect of truth all the time.1a Bressondefinesreality by what Aristotle called "priva tion." Like the Alexandrine exegetes "The supernaturalin film is only the real renderedmorc precise. "Real things seen close up. Bressonadmits that the evervdav is a sham: . dramati ceventsw hi ch passfor r eal lif e in m ovies.I set title to A Man Escaped it down without embellishments.r B R E ssoN 65 By taking all fact as reality. he regards a scenein terms o? it.only the surface.In Bresson'sfilms the bareheaded man is potentially a man with a hat.I want to raw material of the Transcendent. Bresson's everyday stylization consists of elimination rather than addition or assimilation.is definedas potential steam. authentic texts." but from an opposition to the contrived. Real things seenclose up. Above all think about the surface." Bresson says."These are the Bressonbelieves."1z locations-Fort Monluc in A Man Escapedand the Gare de Lyon inPickpockef-nonactors.When.A seemingtrivial anecdotemay illustrate this: while shooting a scenein Diary of a Country Priest Bressoninstructed an assistantto have a man without a hat walk through the background of the scene. but a man without a hat. for example. and"live" sound. Bresson'suse of the everyday is not derived from a concern for "reallife. Water. and is practicedby Bresson:"There is a nice guote from Leonardo da Vinci which goes something like this: 'Think about the surface of the work. yet there is no desire to capture the documen tary " truth'. Bressontold a reporter: "l really wish that it would almost be a documentary. Bresson correctedhim saying that he didn't want a bareheaded man.. of an event (the cin6ma-otritd). Concerning A Man Escaped. each fact with neither The everyday in A Man Escaperl: "The supernatural in film is only the real rendered more precise. but it is also predicatedupon a change. "surface-aesthetics" is the everyday."Similarly a title at the beginning of The Trial of Joan of Arc reads." by the gualities that an ob jects lacks yet has potential for.' "10Cinematic attention to the surface createsa documentary or quasi-documentary approach.These ."11A screen reads: "This story actually happened. the assistant told Bressonthat the bareheaded man was ready.Bressondocumentsthe surfaces of reality." Alexandrine exegetesbelieved that mystic meanings could only be reached through concentration on each detail of the text. and the everyday is potentially stasis. f"*"rt possibilities.A reality definedby privation is as desolateand without significanceas one defined by nihilism. Bresson ruthlesslv strips action of its significance. a short time later. a privated universe groaneth and travaileth for its potential.To use a scriptural metaphor.

of course. The actor's most convenient approach to a character is psychology. the cameracan do anything.'21Theacting process is one of simpllTidTibnlTh6TEor modi-fies personal. but he knows that whatever happens the plot resolution will be a direct reaction to his feelings. more sincere -and the averagemoviegoeris unlikely "easy pleasures"easily' What are the to relinquish these "screens" and "easy pleasures" and how does Bresson ward them off? _ P Io t.6d." ."18The plot "screen" establishes simple. u. demonstrable not complex..I do not like psychology and I try to avoid it. ^o. Bressonis concernedwith how he can use that actor to convey a reality which is not limited to any one character. ]-imits the ways in which he*cg-1-manipulate audience. In Bresson'sfilms the viewer's feelingshave no effect on would seemof all Bresson'sfilms the outcome. editing.knows the ending.. Bresson's most vehement denunciationsare reservedfor acting: "It is for theater. seeing through the surface reality to the supernatural. Bressonhas an antipathy toward plot: "I try more and more in my films to suppresswhat people call plot' PIot a is a novelist's trick. they supposethat the external reality is self-sufficient' This is why Bresson'swork seemsso perverseto the what the moviegoerlikes uninitiated viewer: Bressondespises best. " good" psychological acting "ir"r. but in caseof any doubt the English guard repeatedlyreiterates the fact: "She will die."23 -:+ An actor is primarily concerned with the character of the man he portrays. and emotional involvement with an external plot "distracts" from it. TRANSCENDENTAL srYLE B R E ssoN 65 emotional constructs-plot. I can I eliminate anything which may distiict i-^ t-l-re interior drama. A Man Escaped it is about a prison break' But the title the most plot-oriented. his unfathomable complexities into relatively simple. of C I II L Like Ozu. with any possibility of suspense-Un Condamnt h dispenses ' Mirt S' estEchapp6(a man condemnedto death has escaped) In The Trial of I oan of Arc the viewer.. the cinema is an exploration within.) Bresson'sfilms." "She must burn. His films are "cold" and "dull".and Bressondespises psychology: . eachhas a succession eventswhlch have a rise and fall. he nonethelessrestricts the retult t_o_fhggfto_lional level. .s emotions. of course. acting.beyond the viewer's control and beyond-seemingly -!.1sssq1'5. they lack the vicarious with the movies' Bresson.leThe internal drama is in the mind.are not entirely devoid of "plot" .Al fu. but it is the emotional involvement which follows recognition of form." "There are too many things that interpose prevent the viewer from Screens There are screens. a bastard art. By g?_tlgplot to evoke audienceempathy."16 themselves.more "tT edifying." The events are predestined. tF*I" event: when a viewer and *f"tl""ffietweenthe spectatorempathizeswith an action (the hero is in danger). For me. a dramatist Acting."2apsychologicalacting humanizes the spiritual .he can later feel smug in its resolution (the hero is saved)'The viewer feels that he himself has a direct contactwith the workings of life. (There is emotional involvement with Bresson'sfilms. "is pledgedto ward off the easypleasures physical beauty and artifice for a pleasurewhich is more Permanent. and that it is in somemanner under his control' The viewer may not know how the plot will turn out (whether the hero will be savedor not).Even if his he toys with the plot. camerawork.Sontag excitementusually associated of writes. Within the mind. Bresson seemsto say... confusing the viewer. musicare "screens.

Bresson carefully He instructs his actors in nonexpressiveness.t thilk:ng-AbUt-the wodgb: jf-qg. Don't think about what you're saying. Hir I r wonderful technique simply releasesthe notes. pan-conveys a certain attitude toward a character. just speak the words automatically. hejust letsthewoid's'come * Compare. Bresson shoots his scenesfrom one unvarying height. Like all of Bresson's everyday technigues. A slow zoom-out or a vertical composition can substantially alter the meaning of the action within a scene. the pastor in AManEscaped. your eye just strings together black words on white paper."25 Psychological acting is the easiestand most appealing of all the screens.66 TRANSCENDENTAL gTYLE BRESSON 67 so than "poor" psychological acting' Bresson. Camera angles and pictorial composition."2eLike Ozu. and exits. the static. at this stage the viewer " accepts" Bresson's static . are extremely insidious screens. is any camera shot. Again and again. h-eisn. Bresson'sinstructions to Roland Monod. is "concerned not with the psychology but with the physiology of existence. set out guite neutrally on the page. like music. utdelg_tatdilg i and emotion come later.itl at least one character facing the camera. exp. When you are reading. p ' 5 ) - . Bresson's static camerawork nullifies the camera's editorial prerogatives. to act in an automatic manner: "lt is not so much a question of doing'nothing'as some people have said.Gitn*ri6rc-*yAg. and so.---. "I change camera angles rarely. A text shouldte spoken as Dinu fip#[f"/r e-*h.O-nly simply and directly. Jean-Luc Godard once remarked. Ozu's statement about Late Autumn with Bresson's statements about drama and acting. for that matter. c.leh__tlethltrg. A tracking s. Bresson places the camera at the chest level of a standing person.. Bresson strips the camera of its editorial powers by limiting it to one angle. they can undermine a scenewithout the viewer's being aware of it. Play nothing.* Both strove to eliminate any expression from the actor's performance' Neither would give the actor "hints" or explain the emotions that the actor should convey. "to show emotion in drama: the actors cry or laugh and this conveys sad or happy feelings to the audience' But this is mere explanation' Can we really portray t man't personality and dignity by appealing to emotions? I want-to make people feel what life is like without delineating dramatic ups and d owns " (Ci n e m a . "It's very easy. Both used repeated rehearsalsto "wear down" any ingrained or intractable self-expression.physical instructions: at what angle to hold the head.explain both the method and rationale behind this theory of acting: "Forget about tone and meaning." VI. for example. "Yggsaqclbg if creates."27 Bresson's treatment of actors is remarkably similar to Ozu's. the viewer no longer looks to the angle and composition for " cltres" to the action.sa moral judgment.oreven-abgqigTfTiTe--rtATs--lo--eay.li. when and how far to turn the wrist. out. but would give only precise. When each action is handled in essentially the same nonexpressive manner. performs an action. is not you. forces the actor to sublimate his personality.mpoiEon-C piimdiily frontat. who prefers the seated tatami position." Ozu' said. seeming caught between the audience and his environment. " O z u o n Ozu : T h e T a lkie s. I was the most moving. The film actor should content himself with sayinghis lines. Any possible shot-high angle. well-composed environment acts as a frame for the action: a character enters the frame. a"screen" which simplifies and interprets the character. one basic composition. Wh-es-sa$sqne talks. expressiveintonation into bland monotone. and so forth. If not properly restrained an actor will exert a creative force in a film-and in a Bresson film. unlike Ozu. Bresson is the only one who inside an actor' It is he w-ho does the creating. close-up. It's only af ter you have read the words that you begin to dress up the simple senseof the phrases with intonation and meaning-that you interpret them. Bazin pointed out."26 In order to reduce acting to physiology.and for the same reasons. Ali-Ot"Tfiil.and therefore Bresson must work the hardest to avoid it. It is rather a question of performing without being aware of oneself.I. A person is not the same person if he is seen from an angle which varies greatly from the others. gradually transforming fresh movement into rote action. He should not allow himself to show that he already understands them..9tE.hoji. his camerawork postpones emotional involvement. of not controlling oneself' Experiencehas proved to me that when I was the most'automatic'in my work."28 I I Cameraznork.

whether in service of a plot or self-sufficient. Like Ozu.t"iliA-h rejectedthe obvious interpretation.medium shots of of are people talking. and will go to great lengths to find u . instead .. Almost any music artificially induced into the would be a screenievery pieceof music carrieswith it ". . The soft beat of drums or the blare of Mexicali trumpets give the spectator a textbook of information.Thefilm is composedof static. Bressonavoids the self-serving"beautiful" image. Music and sound effects are the fil3:gsker_. Similarly. The viewer desires to be . The sound track consistsprimarily of natural sounds: wheels creaking. unostentatious cut. does not use it at all in the everyday. Bresson's films are edited for neither emotional climax nor editorial information. These ...32 ^."sa The Soundtrack.. This phenomeion helps you suggestthings rather than having to showihem. Bresson prefers the regular. elicits the artificial sort of emotional involvement which Bresson studiously avoids.close_up.rq 9lYirqryrynt' Editing.s coda music is a blast of emotional music within a cold context.a totally artificial argument imposed from without by the film-maker. each event. but instead restrictshimself to common.. This gives freedom to the imagination of the public."". Climax cutting.distracted..whether attractive like ones.--' :-^."30 necessary Eloira Madigan. "Painting taught me to make not beautiful images but The beautiful image.. th".. all of a sudden that image may have a violent effect on Andr6 another one and both take on another appearance'"3t of sumptuousness Bernanos' Bazin pointed out that the pictorial Diary of a Country Priest-fhe rabbit hunts. birds chirping.rg.screens.Bs the everyday Bressonusescontrapuntal sound not for . however. of everyday life that the cameracannot. It is a very deadpan construction which puts a sharp brake on emotional involvement. carried to its extreme.. of Bernanos'novel. He once describedAManEscaped as "one long sequence"in Bresson's which each shot. the everyday stylization annuls the viewer's natural desire to participate vicaiiously in the action on screen. (in Bresson'sterms).. By drawing attention to itself.. . are being manipulated by the soundtrack.but to reinforce the cold realiiy.Everyday is not a caseof making a viewer see life in a certain way.' $e establisha great concernfor the minutiae of life. .) In the everyday Bressonreplacesthe.. but rather preventing him from seeing it as he is accustomed to.. led only to the next.and you put that image next to an image of the same kind. metaphorical editing.documentary. wind howling. the scenes the inexorablesequence Ioan's The principle of eliding anecdotalmaterial is here interrogations.:l{f1llalilv o| :|"_l_11"'.keenly aware of the emotional and editorial potential of music. Both "interpret" the action of screen. Bresson.an crJate a sense .on the other hand. they create this concernbest when the camerais at a distancefrom its subiect. is an editorial rather than an emotional screen. " flattens" his images : "If you take a steam iron to your image.The ear is more creative than the eye.68 TRANSCENDENTAL STYLE B R E ssoN 69 compositions. These minute sounds .r"ryduy certain emotional/ editorial intonations which would interpret the scene.(Bresson. rike the use of Mozart's Mass in C Minor in A Man Escaped. flattening it out. Bresson. with a form. whether subtle or obvious. or grosshke Fellini Satryicon. sounds. suppressingall expressionby mimetism and gestures..33 constructing the story is most rigorously observed\nThe Trial of loan of Arc. The beautiful image can be a screenbetween the spectator and the event-the pictorial imagesof Adalen 3r tell the viewer more about Widenberg's idea of revolution than all his rhetoric. And because tire ear is more creativethan the eye." e_m4lsgtns tl.s hands pickpocLef in . J If I can replace a set by a sound I prefer the sound.-----+--. There are no interludes of any sort.yet is unable to understand their full purpose.it is not editorializing but like Ozu.. in the decisive action and in stasis'when Bressonusesmusic as decisive action.. sounds are t1f_e close-upshots of Michel. draws attention to itself and away from the inner drama.!'" Bresson. in his adaption conveyed in Renoir's films. does use music as ozu does.unSgtg&Ile tools-the viewer is seldom aware of the extent to which his Tilii. I" editorializing. the misty air-is -.

" Interior narration is customarily used to broaden the viewer's knowledge or feelings about an event. Srvrr: Drspenrrv Tnr TnINscENDENTAL One of the dangers of the everyday is that it may become a screen in itself..nd-he vt siSfiEij6i. The everyday eliminates the obvious emotional constructs but tacitly posits a rational one: that the world is predictable. a style rather than a stylization. "Cetup. "The effect of the spectator being aware of the form is to elongate or retard the emotions.." f..ei and savs. fo. for emotion." Although the irate viewer's attitude is his understandable...and one can only sympathize with the viewer who storms outof Diary of a Countty Priest for the samereasonhe storms out of Warhol's Sleep-it's just too "boring.A Man Escaped.sBrief Encounier.++V *hi.. a sensewhich culminates in the decisive action. Pickpocket main character the iarratesthe on-screen actionin a . example. r.break in the geometrical balance.Ozu can use what Sato calleda. that Bresson has put a strangely suspicious quality into his day-to-day living. perceptionis poor. In eachcasethe reflectiveand sensitivefemale voi. The viewer does not want to confront the Wholly Other or a form which expressesit.. The viewer who stays recognizesthat there is more than the everyday.ffi nt s InDiary of a Country Priest the answers. an end rather than a means."36 But movie-goers love emotional constructs. The door closesand the priest leans dejectedly against it.l\rk narration. it reveals itself to be a spiritual density. an unnatural density which grows and grows until. The intractable form of the everyday will not allow the viewer to apply his natural interpretive devices. Ozu also makes rrJ" of character -or" environment." In A Man Escapedtheoiier is reversed: first Fontaine narrates. "I slept so soundly the guard had to awaken me. Letter from anUnknou:nWoman and Lean. Disparity undermines the rational construct. Disparity injects a "human density" into the unfeeling everyday. to make either intellectual or emotional judgments on what he sees. and. at the moment of decisive action. " w-oqgl.His feelings have neither place nor purpose in the schema of the everyday. When we hear the priest's voice.o gftn=ffi" ffi . cold.h ir oft"" o"lrudio &{ryllgratio" replavof what the vlewer Bresson shows Michel actually going into one of the great banks of Paris and sitting in the lobby the }#Hh4s_expeiienced saTg{v e injlrreeway : tn. the heroines recount their romantic experiences through narration. The viewer's emotions have been superficially rejected. they enjoy emotional involvement with artificial screens. he is not called upon/ as in most films.Iwas so disappointeJ. All the technigues of disparity cast suspicion on everyday reality and suggest a need. I had to lean againstthe door. but they have been simultaneously tantalized by the disparity. ordered.to create disparity.70 TRANSCENDENTAL 9TYLE BRESSON 7a which will allow him to interpret the action in a conventional manner. In Ophuls. a . In the initial steps of disparity Ozu and Bresson use different techniques to suggest a suspicious and emotional quality in the cold environment. preparing the viewer for the moment when he must face the Unknown.In Diary of a Country priest.doubling" technique interior is *. He has mistaken the everyday for transcendental style. obviously informing the priest that the vicar is not at home." Then the guard walks into hi. BecauseOzu's everyday stylization is more "polite" in the traditional Zen manner than Bresson's.The viewer becomes aware that his feelings are being spurned.' BreEon'sfavoiite '. I . The everyday blocks the emotional and intellectual exits. and has only seen a fraction of the film. although not a place. . .

more than his environment can receive. r." why is the action doubled. instead. The young priest's cross of spiritual awareness gradually alienateshim from his surroundings and eventually lead"s to his death. and if it isn't realism. expectant. His need for atonement irivls him to sclf-rnortification.. narration and action expandsthe viewer's attitude toward the situation. The contrast between "fernale" and"male. If it is "realism. a the detail is doubled there is an emotional gueasiness.is both astute and baffling.But there is a complication: the more ill he becomesthe more adamantlv the priest refuses to take nourishment or rest. or paranoia) or to his eternity.rot seemto be intrinsic to the priest (his neurosis.however.The doubling doesnot double the viewer's knowledge or emotional reaction. He feels hlmseif condemnedby the weight he must bear. is intensified everyday stylization of because the disparity (the suspicionthat the film-maker may not be interestedin"realtly" after all). there is the sense of meticulousdetail which is a part of the everyday. and the next step of disparity goes farther: it tries to evoke a "sense" of something Wholly Other within the cold environment. (z) social solitude: the priest and his parishioners. Techniques like doubling cast suspicion on the everyday. and associates his agony with the sacrificial agony of christ.He eatsonry smalrportions of bread . because growing suspicionof the seemingly"realistic" rationale behind the everyday. one.like intensify the ordinary emotional sequence." sound and sight. The viewer is conditioned to expect "rLew" information from narration.38 pseudodocumentary everyday technigue : the unending conflict between man and environment is one of the cardinal thlmes of documentary art. why this obsessionwith details? "both arrest and "The doublings.When the samething starts happening two or three times concurrently the viewer knows he is beyond simple day-to-day realism and into the peculiar realism of Robert Bresson." questionswhich Miss Sontag doesn't attemPt to answer. ---------." Sontag concludes. The viewer's mood becomeswary. But the conflict is more complicated than it at first seems.there is a schizoidreaction.it only doubleshis perceptionof the event' Consequently. that I was the prisoner of His Sacredpassion. Sickness. and the perceptive reader will immediately ask "How?" and"Why?. usesinterior narration for the oppositereason:his narration does not give the viewer any new information or feelings.the passionin Diary of a Country priest is greater than a man can bear. overwhelming and self-mortifying passion.. but only reiterates what he already knows.72 TRANSCENDENTAL STYLE BR ESSON 4 used as a counterpart to the harsh "male" world of action.The "emotional seguence"is arrestedbecause the it (the blocking of screens). JeanS6molu6has distinguishedthree levelsof such alienationinDiary of a Country Priest: (r) sickness:the priest and his body. The above descriptionmay partially explain Miss Sontag's of perceptions. Bresson.sillness seemsfactual enough: his health slowly wanes and finally fails him becauseof what is eventually diagnosedas stomachcancer.misanthropy."37 many by Miss Sontag. The priest. That statement. The sourceof this alienation do"s. a sensewhich gradually alienatesthe main character from his solid position within the everyday. As in Ozu's filrns. and two. he gets only a cold reinforcement of the everyday.(3) sacredsolitude: the The young priest is unable to relate priest and the world of sin.

r .BR ESSON 75 t-li. i l i . r l ) . o f r r c t t . lfulr4iil ilil The sacred solitude of the country priest: "What seems to be a reiection by the environment is more accurately a rejection by the priest-and not becausehe wishes to estrange. .r l . himself. : . . but becausehe is the unwilling instrument of an overwhelming and self-mortifying passion. -. i t ys u P cl r r a tu r ." c n v i r o r r n r t 'r r l .

She answersher judges as if she were insteadspeakingto her mysterious. self-mortifying actions-. Throughout the film Fontaine wears a ragged. The prison at Fort Montluc is only the oblectivecorrelative for Fontaine'spassion. and it is is greaterthan the desi reto be i ns ideor out sideof t hosepr ison walls. but instead to that senseof the Other which seemsmuch more immediate' Hence the disparity. The viewer sensesthat Michel.because Therefo. Each protagonist struggles to free himself from his everyday environment.Michel. wouli have used the old clothes as ropes. factual environment. yet rather than adapting to that environment.'voices.TRANSCENDENTAL STYLE { 'voices-"' to her transcendental Bresson'sProtagonists. but potential ropes.who had the desire but not the passionto be free. in A Man Escaped Fontaine.transcendental.s mind (as definedby "privation") the packagedid not contain new clothes at all. the viewer only sees him as a prisoner whose every breath strives to be free.s desireto escape surpasses / any normal prisoner motivation.Fontaine'sobsession his definitive quality. It is a shock when Joan of Arc answersher corrupt inquisitors with sincerity.like the country priest. and the priest and Joan to martyrdom.his motivation is again ill-defined.the viewer rejoices(or wants to rejoice)for him.Another prisoner.but still doesnot know its source. It is incredible that Joan the prisoner should act in such a manner before a panel of judges: nothing in the everyday has prepared the viewer for Joan's spiritual. In eachcaseBresson'sprotagonistsrespond to a special call which has no natural place in their environment. nor financially motivated. the Bressonprotagonist lives in an all-inclusive cold. Instead of trying the new clotheson. and complete disregardfor her personal safety-she is not responding to ^her environment in a r:t ratio. He is nothing but anembodred r/ J Will to Escape.he respondsto something totaily seParate from it. and when he finally receivesa packageof new clothes.honest1l.ln Pickpocket. to find a proper metaphor for his passion. forthrightness. Similarly.e they do not respond to their environment. The viewer finds himself in a dilemma: the environment . filthy. Fontaine immediately tearsthem up to make ropes. cannot find metaphorscapableof expressingtheir agony' They are condemnedto estrangement:nothing on earth will placatetheir their passiondoesnot come from earth' inner passion. but instead is a Will to pickpocke't. it is neither sociologicail]. This struggle leads Michel to prisoilffie to freedom. And when Michel renouncespickpocketing for the love of Jeanne.s overburdening passionhas been transferred to ]eanne.To Fontaine.'.s pickpocketing has the same familiar obsessiveguality. and bloody shirt.

. In Pickpockef it is Michel. Before these decisive actions there have been . is almost unavoidable-!'1s55sn'5 characters are so totally alienated from their environment' The country priest's paranoiais crucial. emotional into expression. but Bresson commentary on his characters."al (The final decisive action is more audience-oriented: the viewer must then face the dilemma." in the person of Jost.. offers the priest a ride to the railroad station on his motorbike.I dreadedthe thought of a seaich. open call for emotion.In A Man Escaped Fontaine spends every possible moment hlding and disguisir. As before. an overt symbol. The decisive action is an incredible event within the ban structure.* The secret of transcendental style is that it can both prevent a runoff of superficial emotions (through everyday) and simultaneously sustain those same emotions (through disparity). and it serves to freeze the the disparity into stasis." b u t r e ie cts wh a t h e te r m s th e "'hey presto' of G rac e" ( i o w e r o f B a b e l [L o n d o n : We id e n fe ld & Nico lso n . of the protagonist. with its concomitant and all-important acceptanceof gru. When Olivier.. In A Man Escapedit is the nocturnal escape. there is a blast of music.hed. The trigger to that emotional releaseoccurs during the final stage of disparity. that he has been allowed to taste the pleasuresof youth only so his sacrificewill be more complete. should come not so much from the agony and death of Joan as from the strange air that we breathe while she talks of her Voices. in fact. Before the final stage of disparity.. intensifiesthe potential emotional experience. but even Eric Rhode."3e disparity: spiritual density within a factual world createsa sense of emotional weight within an unfeeling environment. the priest reluctantly acceptsand then feels the exhilaration of the ride. when his frail body falls from the frame and the cameraholds on a blatant symbol: the shadow of the cross cast on a wall. .._*hich doesiemand commitment.and from then on identifies himself more and more with his passion.i. of ur. tike the disparity which produces it.for emotions..Fontaine says in deadpan interior narration."a0)And emotion cannot be projected without order will out.NA TRANSCENDENTAL STYLE BR ESSO N 79 that his feelings will be of no avail.s imprisonment and his inexplicable expression of love for Jeanne.decisive moments" which anticipate the final act.In The Trial of I oan of Arc it is Joan's martyrdom.but not the place. seeing its tensions and humor. If a viewer does not want to completely accept the dilemma of disparity (and few do). whether in primitive art or ("Emotion Brecht.up". or the crown of the angel. and restraint. Irony makes it possible for a film_maker to create disparity over a period of time.many of his paradoxes vanish once we make the often unconscious leap i nt o t irink i n g a l o n g h i s l i n e s. Bresson. just as she would talk of one of This "strange air" is the product of us or this glasscarafe. Irony.. _"ur. He then states to himself.t"io. .d viewer ithe central character has already committed himself). In these moments. makes the same point: "The Naturalism of Bresson's motifs puts an irresistible Pressure on us to expect the usual sorts of explanation for behaviour. in his argument against Bresson's religious phenomenology. The act demands commitment by the".s early codas. and without commitment there can be no stasis. obsessive-and ridiculous. In Diary of a Country priest the decisive action is the priest's death. Bresson seemsacutely aware of this: "It seemsto me that the emotion here. which is preceded by the inexplicable symbols of the flying dove and three ringing bells. when the camera holds on the symbol'of the charred stake. the "hero realizesthat he is right to desire what he desires. disparity suggeststhe need.. u. he does not have to reject it outright but can take an ironic attitude_which is e-ssentially wait-and-see attitude.g i.thesedecisive moments are characterizedby a blast of music. his plan discovered. derives ironic humor from his charactersand their alienated surroundings."""..pp' 4a-41).Bressonalso usesunderstatementas an ironic + One can never be sure of audience reactions. in this trial (and in this film). The very detachment of emotion. with no hint of self-parody. irony is a technique designed to hold ihe spectator in the theater until the final decisiv" u. decisive action.) As in Ozu. and does not have to commit himself. like Ozu. In A Man Escaped each interlude of Mozart's Mass in C Minor becomes a decisive . S6molu6 writes. a foreign legionnaire on leave. 19661. however. and he executed. Such a viewer a can look at the disparity from an ironic distance. The prescript rules of everyday f all away. W!:" it appears that his cell will be .

On ten occasions Fontaineand his fellow prisonersrotely walk acrossthe of courtyard. emptying their slop buckets to the accompaniment there was no direct Mozart's Mass. mental screenthrough which he can cope with both his feelingsand the film-. This screenmay be very simple. as do the lyrical sequences pickpocketing in Pickpocket. there is transcendentalstyle. and the decisiveaction is the "miraculous" elementwithin it. accompanied overloud door-latchings.no debateof graceas in A Man Escaped. Pickpockefopenswith the familiar everyday stylization: Michel is a pickpocket within a cold factual world.there is nothing on screen to properly receive such a burst of emotion-inducing music.8o TRANSCENDENTAL STYLE B R E ssoN gr moment. He displays no human feeling. But the music of Mozart gave the life in prison the value of rilual.yet it is nonetheless good exampleof the role of the decisiveaction within transcendental style.. As in Ozu's codas. "In A Man Escaped relationship between image and music.. There is no invocation of the spiritual as in Country Priest yet andl oan of Arc.createsthe same sort of coda in The Trial of of loan of Arc. He is faced with an explicably spiritual act within a cold constructedhis own "screen. In the caseof piJkpocket it could be: people such as Michel and Jeannehave spirits which . either for his actionin Pickpocket:"How long it has taken me to The decisive cometo you.Each of thesemoments call for an unexpected emotional involvement and prefigure the final decisive action' Pickpocketis the only film of the prison cycle which does a not overtly discussreligious values."a2 Joan's regular walk by back and forth from her cell." confrontation with the Wholly Other he would normally avoid.He createsa translucent.

"43At the moment of transformation all the stripped. frozen. if not. as the decisive action makes or inescapablyclear. of his own free will. to participatein a sort of union.the one formed by the spectator:"I the have noticed that the flatter the image is. at a certain moment.is one of the vital elementsof this transformation: "I use music as a means of Music. and they need no earthly rationale for their love. or hieratic scenewhich succeedsthe decisive action and closesthe film. . transformation of what is on the screen'"45 ." "4 SrYrr: Sresrs TnaNsCENDENTAL Stasisis the quiescent. ln Diary of a Country Priest it is the shadow of the cross' in iMonEscapedit is the long shot of the darkened street with Fontaineand Jost recedingin the distance. to come io the identical decision Bresson had predetermined for him' Bressoncalls this the moment of "transformation": "There must. there is no art. he acceptsthrough his mental both. on screen this construct a view of life which can encomPass bY is represented stasis. .and sound effects unite to createa new screen.be accepted rejected'If the viewer accePts the decisive action (and disparity). but ratheriosmic. Bressonusesthe viewer's own natural defenses.in The Trial of I oan of Arc it is the c har r eds t um Po f th e s ta k e . the lessit expresses. and the overt symbol are components of the decisiveaction.dialogue.camerawork. more easily it is transformed in contact with other images . protective mechanism. it is necessaryfor the images to have something in common. flat images. In Diary of a Country Priest it could be: there is such a thing as the holy agony and the tormented priest his was its victim.cantransport us into a region that is no longer simply terrestrial."nn Music. the "miraculous" event.inPickpocket itis Michel's imprisoned f ace. I would even say divine'"46Music. . as opposedto sound effects. Disparity is the paradox of the spiritual existing within the physical. and it cannot be "resolved" by any earthly logic or human emotions. . which can effect a "transformation" in the spectator'smind.82 TRANSCENDENTAL srYI have deep spiritual connections. This "transformation" doesnot resolve disparity.it acceptsit. to causehim. properly used.. It is a still re-view of the external world intended to suggest the onenessof all things. be a transformation. It must.

It simultaneorrti upp""t. Bresson. iconographist as well. Critical has pursued the ineffable as far as it can. . beyond the viewer. neither magical nor ineffable in its techniques. turn to expressionand return to How doesexperience experience?All the aestheticianswho adhere to an expression theory of art have addressedthemselves to this question in one way or another.. is not really possibleto (or else it would no longer be a " accept" an emotional strain strain). I think. the Transcendent. hopes similarly to bring the viewer into contact with that transcendent ground of being-into stasis. if only for practicalpurposes/the Transcendent. then tne crltic can never fully comprehend how it operatesin art.agnet drawing to itself appropriatematerial: appropriate because has an experienced it emotional affinity io. The transcendental style. He can recognize the Transcendent. transcendental style is no Ionger an experienc"b. he teasesand trains the emotions untiithey are transformed into an expression. Once that aesthetic perception is made.." or "God. The moment the viewer createshis own screen. fhis necessitates conscious. If transcendental style really is a hierophany.. at one point.placing the viewer under a growing emotional strain which curminatesin the decisiv" u.50 The final "*hy" of transcendental style is a mystery even to its creator: ."47And again.uns.) puzzle in depth.feeling the. of that realizationis a mystery. felt studied the experience-expression-experience servedto catalyzeaestheticexpression:"ln the that emotions act.tiorr] M".rrro.distinctively aesthetic.ae Emotions are vehiclesthrough which the artist must act.tior. he can study those methods which brought him to that realization. the concept of transcendental style is more useful if seen from within the context of preexistingaestheticsystems.rt ur. This purging of the emotionspermits the aesthetic facility of the psyche to operate."r.. The emotions have proved unieliable und "*pr. in a desireto comprehendthe disparity they continually attempt to outflank the everyday..an j lt can recognize transcendental style for what it is_ a form designed to . is pretty much. It has.r. but that actual . Through everyday and disparity it concurrently flaunts and tantalizesthe emotions. It is possible to postulate how the human emotions react to upsetting experience. Roger T:th:d Fry.i" state of mind alreadymoving. but beyond Bressonhimself.it can be John Dewey. something fundamentally to do with the fact that disparity is an emotional experience (an "emotional strain")...tal style .new. And for this reason the above questions must be in the final account unanswerable..de. "I would like in my films to be able to render perceptible to an audience a feeling of a man's soul and of also the presence something superior to man which can be called God. the emotion operateslike a developmentof an expressive m.." Bressoncannot reieal it: Afyre "these are people whose ultimate secret is not only ::l:1ly::. the mind someiow recognizes this.. Ayfre writes. who thought of as form.never reveal anything but their mystery-like God himserf. Thery after the expression "*' is complete and the work of art has finished its task.ro natural impulse for emotional stability abets the transcendental style in its effort to achievestasis. is a carefully planned cul-de-sacfor this emotional activity.why. One can never fully answer . symbol.s protagonistscannot reveal those reasons:Bresson. if there realiy is a Transcendent. to the emotions and makes the viewer aware of thei.The emotions are active."a8Whether that "something superior" is called "extraordinary currents. Bressonhas accomplished but the task of the evangelistand the task of the artist..stasis is achieved.. The decisiv.s characters. I think.'s"gylf of mysticism'/ yawns wide open.. a aestheticsolution to an emotionaliy irresolvabledilemma. the viewer can return to a life of experience. or expression.r. whereas stasis is an It expressionof the Transcendent.evenin their most extreme confidences.e..but no one has ever given a satisfactory account of how the human psyche perceivesa form of artistic expression. The evangelist is theoretically a man who evokes a conversionnot by his own sophistry but by bringing the listener into contact with the divine.. the way t. Jftr works. but it is possible to accept an expressionwhich includes tensional elements.'how.the not only moment he acceptsdisparity. and I have nothing unique to add to their debate' (In fact.' emotions which result from aestheticparticipation. But just "how" does this come about? Why is it possible for a viewer.8t TRANSCENDENTAL srYLE of Resistance. presence something or someoneunseen: a hand the that directs all. u." it transcends immanent experienceand may be called. frrtitity. to " accept" disparity? These questions are very tricky and to some degree unanswerable." "the invisible hand.

But Bressonis not simply a displacedperson.and artistic' and eachcaseozu and Bressonutilize their parochialcharacteristics.obsessed with theological dilemmas in an age of social action.Bresson would probably be willing." ^rst know what will happen when I arrive.'personality. His immediate culture has had virtually no influence on his work. or "*pJ. but also for the function of art in a universal.. Romantic figure who becauseof religious training.Bresion is today what Ozu will be in the |apan of the near future.and more importantly.. He is a cultural reactionary and an artistic revolutionary-and the secret to this paradox lies somewherewithin his curious inner logic. reducing them to their common element: form' Bnrssott eHo Hrs PEnsoNaury .TRANSCENDENTAL STYLE B R E ssoN 87 "I wanted to show this miracle: an invisible hand over the prison.. the film is a mystery'"5l If successful. not just because was different from Ozu. but a self-consciousartist who has assignedhimself a near-impossibletask: to update an older aestheticinto a contemporary form. a suicidal neurotic. predestination and grace is only an oblique comment on contemporary French society. he but because the prison metaphor is inherent to his theological tradition. that I do not u. like the traditional religious artist. a tortured..Seenfrom thesetraditions.eccentric. work of art the human forms of transcendental in a successful expression are transcendedby a universal form of expression. This older culture had a well-grounded theology and aesthetic which provided not only for the role of the individual artist. morbid.r. he can only' in Sontag'swords.To someof Bresson'scritics.Bressonbecomesan obsessive religious fanatic. guilt obsession forced to live out his neuroseson screen. prisonei-of-*u. he is also. directing what happens and causing such and such a thing to s. or an eccentricgenius. is This confusion results because Bresson.both admirers and detractors.he is not only the consummatestylist but also the consummateoddball. when art merges with mysticism.personality. whether it be the mass or transcendental style. "be patient and as empty as possible'"52'tThe feel that I go toward the unknown.i"rrces. aesthetic. to give co-credit to the divine' A spiritual artist ian predict how an audience will react to a specific form. a representative a different and older culture which may not be of immediately obvious to the modern viewer but is not irrelevant either.r" u. Both Ozu and Bressonwere soldiers. multicultural sphere.unlike Ozu.s can be misleading.tJ not for another ' ' ."53 In a successfulwork of art human experienceis both personaland cultural.hermetic person.di"n. an artist alienatedfrom his cultural environment.is not unigue or important. And his concern for spirituality. transformed into human expression. has become alienated from his contemporary culture.but of the two only Bressonutilized his war experiences a (as prisoner) in his films. Bressonis not neurotic or eccentric. and before a viewer can appreciatethe solution experiencethe Problems. Bresson. hermetic. free will. In the Iight of this older culture. Bresson's. Consideredby itself Bresson.c"edior o. of The more a critic realizesBresson'stheologicaland . Bressonmay be a suicidal.s asceticismis certainly at odds with the movie tradition which has zealouslycelebrated every aspectof the physical. The remainder of this chapter on Bresson will consider some of the "pretexts" of Bresson'swork: his personality-'his his cultural traditions. brooding. Considered solely in terms of his personality. theological. The static view at the close of Ozu's and Bresson's films is a style itself : a frozen form which microcosmfor the transcendental expressesthe Transcendent-a movie hierophany' Pnrrexrs Until stasis the influence of personality and culture are for he must cultures. but these are also characteristics the culture he works from within. but at the moment of stasis.

'."5? St. why not destroy the body and be free? St.s film-s the vexing problem of suicide:If the body Lnslaves is the soul. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body Intertwined with the abjuration of the body in Bresson. religious out the virtues they portrayed. must live with Christ. peculiar synthesisof his theologicaland artistic traditions. The night before her executionshe is given communion and into the hands of God. "I'd rather die than endure this suffering.yet let us die. in his only recordedstatement. His is also a self-mortification. when we use it for a remedy.. his identified "thesis").or if we be denied leave. Western theories. he must become "saintly" himself. There is. if we may leave. are inevitably couched in terms of freedom and restraint.TRANSCENDENTAL STYLE B R E S sON 89 aestheticunderpinnings.but it does not lead to death." Bresson's becomesincreasingly personality.Shortly before his death Socrates To as the "soul's prison.like those of his characters. metamorphosinginto the image of the cross. however. This will be consideredin a later section. Paul the body of sin is prison."55More recently Jacgues If "Christian work would have the artist. with his passion (or in Coomaraswamy's terms. as was previously stated. his freedom is in jail. submitting his personality to the transcendentpassion.psychological. There are many precedents religious art transcendental artists were often required to live for such an approach.. neurotic.5n and Augustine and Aguinas . It only has value to the extent that it can transcenditself.In the context of his theologicaland aestheticculture Bresson'spersonality has little value.in a similar manner it may be said that Bresson'spersonality is envelopedby in style. The Stoglav Council of 155r decreedthat the Russianiconographershould "be pure and Fra decorous. In pickpockef the metaphor is reversed. At the closeof Country Priest the priest "gives up" his body. the prison metaphor is linked to the fundamental body/soul dichotomy.whether theological. Fontaineis the The prison metaphor is endemic to Western thought. and that is as his personalcontribution to the his culture from which he operates. God cannot be offendedwith this. stating. Tnr Tnrorocrclt TneorrloN: THEPnrsort Mrrapnon On one level the prison metaphor is a relatively straightforward representation the body/soul conflict. he is a man in "captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.resorting to a |ungian definition).much in the same death. a saint."5a Angelico. another way one can speakof Bresson's personality (without. "Art requiresmuch calm and to paint the things of Christ one Maritain stated. Ambrose stated the caseguite clearly: "Let us die. as man. of His characters gradually relinquish their bodies. the further he shies away from a purely psychologicalinterpretation of Bresson's"personality. On the theologicallevel. Michel's prison is crime. Like the country priest's it is vain."56 Bressondesiresto createsaintsin art.wrote. a linkage which is made by the wellsprings of Western thought: both Plato and the describeshis body Scriptures. morbid. tradition holds.or political.

.. In Diary of a Country Priest the priest realize.. ..it is the natural thing to do. Balthazar.you must leave the spectator free. in presenting them to him. himself with particularly in his later films.ot the chariacter(or the viewer) will accepthis predestinedfate. the Truth makes you free.freedom. is whether or not she will chooseher predesti.Ioan of Arc seemingly martyrdom of her own free will. taught to varying degrees Augustine. Calvin. of her suicidethe priest himself feels the temptation of learning suicide.u'. Bresson'sprison metaphor allows for this complexity.. The only tension. yet from the inside... And at the same time you must make yourself.. writes.. Aquinas. has demonstratedthat Bresson. Ambrose's case. .. as in predestinarianism.She as will die. The prison metaphor gains in complexity and depth as Bressonextendsit to the theologicalparadox of predestination and free will. u .. Upon countess.. make him i"{ feel them..conciliatory elementin the predestination/free will paradox is grace.a casewhich grows strongerin Au Hasard.6a Unlike Caivinism.s predetermineddecision (during the decisiveaction).tureof a good work which is such that no created thing can achievethis effect without the aid of Grace. and Une Femme Douce: the countesshas been contemplating suicide." then he surrenders his .twe aII. h. Bressontreats his viewers in the sameway a JansenistGod treats his minions: ."62 Bressonhopes to make the viewer so free (by leaving him uncommitted during everyday and disparity) that the viewe"rwill be forced to make Bresson. Bresson'strea_tTrelt the prison metaphor of justifies his often rather voguish labeling u. i"t his agony only comes to culmination when he escapesfrom that other prison.. Bazin points out.. In his films man's "freedom" consistsof being a "prisoner of the Lord" rather than a prisoner of the flesh. among others. the drama is whether o.although he has already chosena more subtle course.presence of something superior. having been previously chosenby God.""d".within or without bais. you must make him love the way in which you render things.63 onci the But viewer makes the commitment.. and joins in that jungle of predestinarianlogic.The implication is clear: the having found salvation. by as Predestinarianism. Marvin Zeman.loved by him. is now able to chooseGod of his own f ree will.h"way that you love to seethem and to feel them. Man becomes " free" by "choosing" the predetermined will of God. his transcendence. God is Truth. whereupon she commits suicide. escap_e: they are the opposite sidesof the predestination/free will paradox. leave no guestion as to the outcome...r"..of the Iu..Aren. .it cannot be resolvedby death but has to be acceptedon faith. .6o In the prison cycle the natural suicidalextensionof the prison metaphor is already evident. and freedom is choosingGod. and jansen. The mysterious.issomething eachof us is free to refuse. On the surfice Bresson leavesthe spectato"r totally free. whereasthe predestination/freewill conflict is a paradox..Grace is the catalyst for religious commitment because.61 Bressonpredestines characters his by foretelling the outcome of their lives. St. John Donne. Eachfinds true freedom through the acceptan.The country priest in a long dark night of th-esoul brings her to a faith in God. and this while leaving him a great freedom.urrr"r. while making him free. Ambrose.Both the country priest and joan "give up" their lives (as Christ did on the cross)but do not die by their own hand. even to the point of death. yet the film also chooses that her fate is predetermined. and "Don't forget.." of u predestined grace. Predestination/freewill is a complex and contradictory concept.Mouchette. has come to associate a radical wing of Christianity (including. It's a neat jungle of logic which seemsguite preposterousfrom the outside.l. i. in A Man Escapezl Fontainechoosesf. as you seethem and feel them yourself. A suicidein Country Prlesf presentsSt.ist. Once asked if Fontainewas predestinedBressonreplied. once he acceptsthe..prisoner of the toly ugony. the body. and Bresson'sprison metaphor adapts to this complexity. In pickpockef Michel chooses freedom bv imprisonment.. she must burnj. in an essay on suicidein Bresson'sfilms. the arguments leveledfrom the outside are of little avail. accepting certain theologicalgivens. Once on the inside. na.r"dfut".was now " free" to die.. That is to say: show him things in the order a. u . GeorgeBernanos)which regardssuicide as a positive good.but lacks the courage.go TRANSCENDENTAL STYLE BR ESSO N rushed to counter the argument. holds that man. The body/soul conflict is a dichotomy for Bresson: he prefers the soul to the body.The opening repeatedlyemphasizes shot with its reading of Joan'spostmortem readmissioninto the Church and such declamatory statements .

Given this theological backdrop.but is thereby But established.(quoted in Marj ori e Greene... The "new body" was available on earth.. 7).ANSCENDENTAL STYLE B R E S S oN 93 |ansenism holds that "common" grace is nonuniversal.Later Fontaine realizesthat Orsini's death has made it possiblefor him to escaPe.* The actor had been "worn out. "In Jansenism."I was lucky.All is grace. 3 [S pri ng. * Whenasked he would if useClaude Laydu. The crucial manifestation of gracein A Man Escaped is occurswhen Fontaine. ." she replies) she can realizegracein death.f. the awareness the Transcendentcan only come after some of degree of self-mortification.. from the beginning of the film (by the title) that he would escaPe. In Bresson'sfilms graceallows the protagonist to accept the parodox of predestinationand free will. The culminant statement of graceis by the country priest.Ho* dld you know that it was an angel's voice?" she is asked.rgh |ost. "R obert B resso n.Fontaine without must then decidewhether to kill Iost or take him along..'/66 it is not enough for grace to be present.How long it has taken me to come to you. this." If one acceptstranscendental style. Because foan wills to believeher voices(."rrrl." "How strangeit is.one must know both how to there is perhaps recognizeit and how to receiveit.man must chooseto receiveit.tely escapeis the most confining prison of all. that without Jost his escaPe of was Fontaine'sacceptance Jost and the hasardof gracewhich even though it had been predetermined allowed him to escape. he not only killedihem fictionally. which is an impressionthat I have as well: it is that our lives are made at once of predestination-]ansenism. an"escape" which makes one simultan"o. but also artistically. euarterl y . "No. "close up" of interior narration and of the firing squad'sgunshots). At the close of PickpockerMichel comesto an acceptance gracein of the person of Jeanne."" from sin" and a "prisoner of the Lord.rrly .. then-and of hasard.Fontainereadsthesewords to himself as his friend attempt (long escape Orsini is being executedfor an unsuccessful shot of Fontainein his cell window. In contrast. persecutions. expresses unpredictability of grace.Blanchetcounters that it is not strange."65 The "chance" of graceis the theme of A Man Escaped whose subtitle. Man must choose that which has been predestined.chance.. chooses doesFontainerealizethat it takes two men to scalethe prison would have been a failure. but it is a two-faced metaphor: hii characters are both escapingfrom a prison of one sort and surrendering to a prison of another. warning given a cell-mate.Because-Fontaine previously willed to escape has he can correctly acceptthe intervention of grace thro. in the next film there was a new (but similar) actor who had to be mortified. His aging neighbor. whose dying words are . Blanchet. The comings and goings of grace are unpredictable. because is gracewhich allows the proiagonist and th1 it viewer to be both captive and free." Consequently. must necessarily different than ozu's.X Ii l . And the prison his protagonists ultim. and he is as yet only dimly aware of it.says. as in Christian theology. and Ayfre quotes Augustine to demonstrateBresson'sorthodoxy at this point: "the freedom of the will is not void through Grace.92 TR. refusing to use an actor in more than one film. to ihat between a prisoner and a prison. In Bressonls be films. the again Bresson replied. 196ol.bars. Ozu used a "f amily. There were no chains. Prison is the dominant metaphor of Bresson'sfilms... the body." from Iesus'conversationwith Nicodemus." Fontaine says."Orsini had to show you how.s'.. p. . and he says to her through thJars.a boy named Jost. it is a special gift and not everyone can receive it." the priest replies." Fontainereplies. How can I ? For ournai I robbed I him oi what I needed to make the film. "lt's a miracle. then all is grace. In u . Ozu did not feel the need to compare the tension between man and nature. priestin Country priest.pretexts. the John 3:8). Bresson "mortified" his actors.Because trad I tne will to b:!""-" it... Bresson. transcendence an escape is from the prison of the body. whether it be a foregoing of the "sins oi the flesh" or death itself.. his characters-clid not need to undergo the death of the old body. How could I rob him twice?. and he the latter. It wall. self-flagellations. self-mortification had little place in his films. while in the processof escaping. Only later.and Fontainerepliesthat it is strangethat Blanchet should say that. soul and body. Earlier in the film Fontaine and the priest have a similar conversationwhen a Bible mysteriously appearsin the priest's pocket.Grace is making itself manifest in Fontaine'slife. "LeVent 5ouffle Oil IlVeut" ("the wind bloweth where it listeth..In A Man Escaped prisoner-priestwrites out the subtitle/text for a Fontaine. Fi l m N o.the night before his planned escape.

There has been little sympathy in modern culture in general. For ozu gracewas neither limited nor unpredictable. but neither of thesesectsdevelopeda positive aestheticor promoted any movement in art.and there were maverick "Calvinist. he had to look elsewherefor his aesthetics. as some critics have. like Calvinism. The awareness the of Transcendentwas for Ozu away of living. Rembrandt). Certain art forms were favored by Jansenismand Calvinism (church music and architecture). Revius.but easily availableto all. his formulation of the problems of body and soul.kill off" butput through the same tensionsin film after film.Jansenism. for the spiritual problems which troubled B. in its excesses." li I from |ansenism.and cinemain particular.seemsobviously Iansenist.TRANSCENDENTAL STYLE t BR ESSO N 95 of actorswhom he did not'. of course. "Imagis. that his aestheticand artistic influenceswere also Jansenistis incorrect. and Bressonhas been on the forefront of this.s creation. Bresson'simmediate culture was also unable to provide the aesthetics Jansenismlacked.had little place in their logical theology. but it certainly would have had no I The beginningot A Man Escapedand the end of Pickpoiket t "lmprisonment is the dominant metaphor in Breison's films. as for Bresson." . and almost none for the "visual arts" in particular... grace and redemption. artists (Donne. iconoclasm. had little feeling for aestheticsor art in general.but to infer from this. But in cinema this has been to a substantialdegreeBresson.not his "tradition.a twentieth-century revival of interest in the relations between form and inner meaning in the contemporary arts. predestination and free will.|ansenismcould give Bressonsome of its to leann :ssand asceticism.* a theology which Jould lead. a way of dying. but it is a two-faced metaphol his protagonists are both escapingfrom a prison of one sort und tuttettd"ring to a prison of another. There has been. Tur AEsrurtrc TnaorrroN: Scnorasrrcrsv Bresson'stheology. not."rson.

"tio. Ananda CoomaraswamY writes : It should be rememberedthat'European art'is of two and did actually understand eachother very well. yielding to contorted lines and distorted figures.ul aestheticbecame exaggerated. mystics and the nomi. pre-Renaissance Neither St. SummaTheologiae the Gothicworld sought to create clarity through organization] synthesis through form.and his particular approachis part of a long.ul. although ntt theological.And although one can never some preliminary be certain where Bressongot his aesthetics. but in artisiii practice its delicate coalition between faith and reasonbegan to treak down. It represented. possibilities . Thomas. his purzuit of "mystery" certainly seemspart of this tradition.s use of unsentimentalized form. "acceptance and ultimate reconciliationof contradictorv "r. artistic tradition..attempted a task n-otyet clearly envisaged by their forerunners und .Bresson. could be either abstract or anthropomorphic. but they the both sharein the legacy of Scholasticism. The Scholastic aestheticis also appropriate for Bresson.Ozu and Bresson have little in common theologically or culturally.r"frlly to b" abandonedby their successors.Like St. Erwin panofsky has demonstrated. eventually crackedunder its internal strain. both sought to lvoke the final "mystery..s word) ." Aquinas wrote.nature) which was both in the world and transcended provides a common meeting place The Scholasticaesthetic for East and West. they are the means to an end. would have appreciatedthe films of Ozu and Bresson. which could serveboth faith and reason in Eastand West. parallelsbetween Gothic architectureand Bresson'sfilms. and its previously .found its clearestexpressionin Gothic architecture. last major aesthetic. both favored the anonymity of the artist. Ir .'vain". more and.he is not sai generis. of which Dr. Logic was not opposedto mystery but just another means to appreciateit.fot Ozrt and Bresson'It was a primitive aestheticwhich had becometraditional. and by extension. Both enclosedtheologicalparadoxeswithin a larger form..r. the the task of writing a permanent peacetreaty between faith and reason. gathering to itself a rationalizedorganon of thought while retaining its are-(to use Augustine. Maritain extrapolatesa Scholasticdefinition of art as an Jacgues "intellectual virtue. however. "by which human acts Art for reach a determinedend through determinedmeans. The Schtolmen ."68 a definition which corresponds guite closely to Coomaraswamy/s definition of Asian art a5 " a delight /' ..The Schoolmen define Gothic architecture by its mathematical unity rather than its later expressionist facade. Gothic architecture." The Gothic cathedral may be an appropriate aesthetic metaphor for Bresson'sfilms.s art becauseit allows a place for the inteliectual formulation of ideaswithin the form. The artist too is a means/ and his end is not himself.. This aesthetic leads naturalry enough to an art form. to remain under the sameroof."72Orrthis level one could draw certain ob. which guite literally forced faith and r*ror. several traditions in Western art which correspondremarkably to both Bresson'stheological problems and his artistic solutions. and would explain his stylistic. Coomaraswamy writes.rlo.alists. can also serve the seeminglycontradictory gualities of Bresson'sfilm-making Scholasticism.cT The Scholastictradition. affinities with Ozu. researchrevealsthat although he is alienated. Coomaraswamywrites."7lThis aesthetic.panofsly *it"r."70 both the Scholastictheologian and Asian artist sought an idea it' (beauty.moreproducing not spiritual stasisbut sensualdisparity. but not to be confused with the end."ee Art seemsto be nothing other than a certain of the reason ordination of reason. Thomas nor any of the Schoolmenwrote a but in Art and Scholasticism specifictreatiseon aesthetics.96 TRANSCENDENTAL STYLE There have been. though presently dormant in film. which. but was not sentimentarized or humanized.

it serves form of representation' betweenBresson.t ut .s films and Byzantine iconography. I think' is and Oriental art and influenced been a common thread in Western to further strengthen the link the scholastic aesthetic.Barth6l6my Amengual has already noted.Ozu.the similaritiesbetween Bresson.. and those t"d' *"'" spiritual an The work of art was the means to human and sentimental' the icon"'St' Basil stated' ineffable end: "The adoration of say to the Holy Person "passesto the prototype. it brings the force of specific.may have been aesthetically influencedby scholasticismbut they were artisticalry stimulated by the Byzantine techniques they saw in imported icons and in the work of refugeesfrom the Iconocrastic controversies.rlur. and was the basisof Carolingian.^ IcoNocnlpuv Tnr Anrrsrrc Tneprrrox: Bvz's'luNr and minor artistic There undoubtedly are many major Bresson in one way or ano-ther' traditions which have influenced Byzantine iconography' It has . Bresson'sfilms bear more out an aesthetic similar to oortraiture.. artistic contemporaries. such as Rouault and Derain... Byzantine iconography l'iu' u ft""tion of the liturgy' The Byzantine ito"og'upny icon was the sameas his attitude spectator'sattitude it*ltatnt with theoriginal' conlact by miraculous . '. the proximity. Byzantine iconography *u b" seen to affect Bresson'sfilms in the way it affecLd Erropuu. affected euattrocento painters like Mantegna. viewer. breathing fresh Eastern life into stagnating. urt until as late as the sixteenth century (and in some cases."f" actually helped to draw to the right quatlet'"7aIndividual mosaicist and the 'pittutot inf lu e n ce w as ..' collective order. that is to represented.g *oita of th" "tt'"" into absorbed the became rnt individual ..s the atti tudestow ard the Transce ndentBr essor r .. the collective order the icons the Transcendent'Consequently' io. and the universal wasan art of Like Oriental art..d between God and man.b u tn o tp e re mp to ry. Northumbrian.75 The Schoolmen were influenced. tie Late Byzantine and Romanesgue painters. hierarchical' sensation' "In the Byzantine era the world of verisimllitude and but surely' climbed away from Christian i.So^. techniques to a rationalized organon.flattening it out. of the sensual and the spiritual. Long after the decline of Byzantium. Bressonusesmethods of representationvery similar to those employed by Byzantine painiers and mosaicists.Byzanfine iconography ideal rather than and fixed ends..98 TRANSCENDENTAL STYLE BR ESSON 99 resemblanceto Byzantine Artistically. Cavallini. .. he writes. of emotion and idea. an art form which lived an aesthetic' before there was the need to create ili. "spiritual..rigid. d i s c e rn i b l e .. of c our s e.. of which the the attention of both the ifrt. carrying man."76 The analogy can be carried even further. in passing. almost the identity. symmetric compositions.'.... and Giotto.t... there is the "dialectic of concrete and abstract . . nonexpressive faces. itott' were described of theologicalsymbolism and. and ottonian art. until the present).orrog'uphy had' slowly soaring ever higher into a region th" ullt. The Byzantine mosaicistconstructedthe nonexpressiveface because God himself was beyond all expression.h.t.il hardened into a form' and the -".hieratic. but the most important.simiiarly. t about .. r . t-hereare technicalas well as theoreticalsimilaritiesbetween Bresson.. taking a steamiron to the image..deprefudice. primarily through the writings of the Neoplatonists.. and sincethe mosaic was the material image' transcendent idea. hieratic postures."Ts was anonymous and To achieve these ends Byzantine art as pictures"made without impersonal. . Duccio.i. Aguinas. Byzantine art oftenlunctioned in this manner.couldhave beenwritten by the Stoglav Council which prohibited the ilfi'.. of static body and mobile mind.^ "*p. its art morded painters like Cimabue.arti sts staved' came and went. .s films and Byzantine art.. Bressonusesthe nonexpressiveface to .il.. and two-dimensionality are common to both. mosaicists were enjoined To enforce anonymity LaieByzantine of Christ iiat tt make ihtit Uy "pt"ttntationsscholar wrote' "... rationalistic Western theories.ical This rule' one conform to certain requirements' the artistic merit of the mosaic'but "was design"d to pto^ote' not majesty of Christ was the the honor of Christ..s imagination to the transcendent realm where images hor"i. through its images..and for some of the samereasons. Frontality. by Byzantine iconographli and its attitudes toward art.."rsed further and further apart from became stylized. Byzantine iconography has been a continuous influence on European art. In both.

on' sC' t t t r r t l r. full figure set against an empty environment.r"". Christ the'King of Kings.o-pu.just as ozu's films are more than .d body_obscu. r"rrrlt in a stasis very similar to that evoked by a religious icon. the uncluttered background. Agathias wrote. It is possible. Martin "sensuality of heretics" in iconic portraiture'77 Frontality in iconograpiry was designed. so that "the man No lookiig ut ti iko. noncommitted attitude within the viewer which.barren shot by g. Christ the Suffering. the stationary camera. and paintings. directs his mind to a higher contemplation' " essonuses frontality lo.rge. The long forehead. Sophia: an agonized.lonely. from a tourteenth-century Novgorod icon.Bresson'sfilms are more than filmic adaptions of Byzantine icons. .about to succumbto the spirituut *"git he must bear.. But such comparisons would overextendthe value of the analogy.ing lr"r.ison would be inaccurate. the lean features. Motionpictures are so different from mosaicsthat any .:i .method Jf Byzantine painting to Bresson'slighting..i ti olf' rrrri l i ' rr r 1 )ri w ' i rr Il rt's : .oy dusk and dark barren trees'therc is a long ".T Left to right: Elijah.f h i t h to Byzantine wall paintings. Christ the pantokrator.old fl.it takes its rightful place in the liturgy' ]ust hillock' almost in the priest collapses fatigue on a. Florence Carrez as loan of Arc. Christ the Merciful.. such as the Ascension mosaic at St. *rupp.-hushe a confused veneration."T8Bf a to c"reate respectful. versions of sunti -apai nti ngs..to before on that face..three_circle. the closed lips' the blank stare.but not profitable.his head the left. Christ." stares into the camera in scene Bresson is using his f ace-only one part of Bresson's complex wall' film-making-t"ik" a Byzantine face painted high on a temple It can simuftaneously evoke senseof distance (its imposing' (the hard-chiseled hieratic quality) and a strange sensuousness And stern face amid a vast mosaic or environmental panorama)' bear when Bresson brings the rest of his film-making abilities. from a twelfthcentury Byzantine icon. the frontal view.r..ru"lop"d (' r(" l t(' st t o tttP or. these identify Bresson'sMichel's protagonists as objects suitable for veneration' When af ter scene\n Pickpocket' .. and so forth)' or one might compare the .ao a robes.rl r' :. to cJntinue this analogy between Bresson'sfacesand compositions and Byzanti. the flat light.ur. One might draw comparisons to the Christ -o#. types in Byzantine portraiture.

setsthe stagefor their contemporary stylistic union.Unlike his other artistic traditions.but they also link Bresson'swork to a method of representation which has its roots in the East and has been successfully adaptedto dozensof cultures.".nrr-tl to the spiritual weight he must bear'" . wrapped in body-obscuring robes. Byzantine iconography ties Bresson to a universal form which has been used by many artists. Although it is possibleto delineateeachof thesetraditions and analyze tiem separately. These technigues not only produce .rr. even though seemingly remote.Lir. desired.rrHrsrsor TneorrroN: Iueco Drr Bressonis a man of (at least) three traditions.r TRANSCENDENTAL STYLE BR ESSO N aot To mold his modern-day saintsBressondraws on the specific technigues of the long-standing tradition of Byzantine art. among them Yasujiro Ozu. lonely full figure-set against an empty enviroriment. tried_and_true audiencereactions.in the courseof his films thesetraditions must I rl I I l I I " r' " 1. Sophia and Claude Laydu in Diary of a Country Priest: "An agonized.l i r o Ascension mosaic at St. The common historical aestheticand artistic traditions sharedby Bressonand Ozu. 1 . his head hung to the left. and about to .. A Syr.

:i.::il:??.o.fi" images mysteries "" The "ri"l. had any of rrl .:'". and how to portray that person must be the crucial question of religious art.ture come from Byzantium.':tT"".i:-sJ:J j.. sin-dominatedman could not possibly depict the Holy."-t:. His technigu. . f..of predestinj*".ru. ir-i"ra"r.rr.. this. the Eastern Church takes as its proof text Philippians z:6.. herself.'..by the fact that he thinks historically and transcendentally..i*l:p. espoused more moderate to degreesby Anselm.. he is a heretic atl his own..r. there have been two interpretationsof lmago Dei. Bresson cannot be tied down to any one heresy.. whose life offers edification to those u"./'/80 This notion has enjoyed continuous favor..t (which lif e'"81The western Church saw in images (to the extent that they were permitted) o.."h. so he can be worshipped through images. .: theRoman Church is trying to convict Easternr. Christ our God in His hu ma n s hape."* S."ri.-r.The unity had been shatteredby the Fall....:it tn"" f f. and Calvin.ifi."..'.".+rc--. This view was expressed early as the secondcentury by Clement of as Alexandria: "It has been plainly forbidden us to practice deceptiveart..ryt::.'i.1".k"l"to... they u. some perhaps more t:...'Thou shalt not make the likenessof anything that is in Heaven. lmago Dei is the pivotal conceptin any discussion of Christian art..Te Christianity and the West the In Transcendentis fixed in a singleperson..God.i. why no religious denomination has ever embraced g. which is exemplified by the Protestantchurches..utior.r".t From this baffling maze of traditions and subtraditions. It seemsonry ..o...""" ". theEasrern Church.r"rrro. the fact the that God came down "taking the form of a servant.. rh""-^. van der Leeuw contends..his u"rth"ti. which effect salvation.. and edification.. both God and man. iir."" will and grace from Jansenism.::'i-'::f films. that is u-p". Eastern ChrY l would also sheshould venerateri.takes as its text Exodus zo:3 which prohibits any graven image.if herfoll. On the other hand. for the prophet says.j. his theology.r.lt Ti " the " " Viewedfrom ":t Romano.a"nt. decreeing that "fromnow on icons should show..o. being articulatedby the eighth-century Iconoclasts. anundefined ll:*Ot ilpl. yl.rorowers...t.The Synod of Trullo (69z) legalized this position. .ty i.t':'l. . fostulared.lr."gi*. To each tradition he brings the.i t al owe gs y-.r. being born in the likenessof a man.rui q..'ff lT':.llemrlut" it. with...ao4 TRANSCENDENTAL STYLE B R E S S oN ao5 One of the most interesting of Bresson'ssyntheses his is depiction of the Image of God.. ... One camp.. Historically.or in the earth beneath..:.s.ih"i... *"." The Easternview holds that as Christ is the image of God.irtgrrred t ourwhut oi.'.. includetheJansenist) positionB.". The Protestantshave taken a theoreticalstand againstreligious imagesof any sort (although in practicecertain imageshave been tolerated)..Ti:t* ""a.iliTffiT#.irrorrl' BryoNo pnrrrxrs qTfi. s o t hat w e ma y b e re mi n d e do f h i s i n carnate her for the Ea rrJoanp". the Eastern Orthodox and the Protestant.tior.. n:-'1'"i'.:._*H"?# Trialof Ioani1 ...... I d ima e but p.whereasthe Roman Church continuesto permit imagesso long as they are not worshipped or venerated.r.llliji..""_l culturar elcrncntsBresson finds easiest. Luther.".owers made images her.T?'"":: jil..:l:p.r.. and to cinema he brings the virtuef of all three-perir"p.. but she '"t.og.the Redeemer.r.hy.-1. . and Bresson'shandling of it demonstrates how he applied Byzantine conceptsof portraiture to Jansenist theology. r :26..ro. The very fact that an artist should become involved in the Image of God controversy is determined.*t"_ptui" was an image in the Eastern sense_an icon to lf::l::::"1suggests.i.rtru.. Bresson f3rges what could be called A" of Western yet .":riig whichis not any specific '."l"inr":i. and it assumedits most virulent form when Cromwell's Puritans smashedEngland's religious statuary.y"ri"* r.T.ld.u.. Both start from a common point: the original unity of God and man when God createdman in his image (Gen..:eligious ...h .s.. z7).il'. ... .i"l"sticism. Joan was no-tonly a saint in the Roman Catholic sense(she was later canonized)..d .'.b d .r.it* "rir lou.T"' _Thehq"i.. ff rs admitting the iconographic heresyinto the theologf .#."uririy j be io".r.virtues of tfr" oti". with the Roman church straddling the area in between.i. which emphasizes incarnation. Western Church."r.. :TilJTli.

which with ifs traditions has tried to squashthe spiritual qualities out of art. : ". spiritual aesthetic.and not surprisingly. disparity can be both alienation betweenman and.yrrbolic icon. ". The ditterences which seem so culturally unbridgeable can both function within transcendentalstyle: frontality can be both pantokrator nlerarchrsmor it can be Zen. I I I p sninwh ..the medium was the same..JITT:?j:. of course.Ozu'sLateSpringand Bresson's of TheTrial of loan of Arc:"For Ozu. ..1'" rio ich i il.y"l. On the surface there would seemlittle to link Ozu and Bresson.^ f aestheticwas the same..rt. The in Transcendence Eastand West. for Bresson. r r knight of r he soul h"'.tseem to be a mou nt ain.:1".neither of them could make films in the other's country without experiencing"culture shock.l.O:ltal culture: it is like the rhountain which is a mountain.t hen . It is ' the old aesthetic in the new medium.the awareness the transcendent a was a way of living.to 6 TRANSCENDENTAL STYLE natural for the elementsof Bresson'shistorical traditions to for coalesce they must prepare to meet a f ormidable opponent: the " new. "J style can express the endemic metaphors of each I:. "." sensual." They shared an ancient Christian/Oriental aestheticheritagewhich had fallen into generaldisrepair.But their common desireto expressthe Transcendenton film made that link crucial.rr" and man and God. choosinginst ead . refinement against dramatic development. stasiscan both be a guiescentview of nature ifr" .) Out of this struggle comes a new form transcendental style."j ff il::'*"jn^ throrgh . The aesthetic is familiar.r rl.1. . but the style is new.:1.. the resultant style was remarkably similar..T:ff."".. lf l. eachtook the old aestheticprinciplesinto a new art form.. is a universal form becauseit can accommodate different artists and different cultures within a com . reach to wherever men make movies.politeness. Transcendentalstyle. The resulting conflict pits the two traditions against each other in a bizarce time-machine manner: Scholastic aesthetic against movie ideal portraiture againstindividual portraiture."#:. way of dying-" fromEngran.especiallyin motion pictures.are somewhat involved and will be consideredin the Conclusion.#.:ii. like Byzantine art. o... doesn. (The implications of the expressionof the spiritual occurring on film.individualistic art of cinema.

it may now fade back into experience.O8 TRANSCENDENTAL STYLE to enter a"new" prison. At such a moment (if it is fortunate enough to occur) the transcendental style in films is unified with the transcendental style in any art.The wind blows where it will. which knows no culture. it doesn't matter once all is grace. At this point the function of religious art is complete. transcendental style can adapt to both cultures becauseit expressesthe Transcendent. mosaics. it is a form which is universally appreciable. It is not a metaphor which is restricted to its antecedents. lll l)l'ctr .1. At the moment of stasis the "pretexts" fall away. In sum. flower-arranging. tea ceremony. liturgy. painting. the Way of Introspection and the Way of Unifying Vision yield to each other.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful