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Un condamné à mort s'est échappé (1956)

Original Title : Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut
Director : Robert Bresson
Writer : Robert Bresson
André Devigny
Genre : Adventure
Drama
Country : France
Language : French
Producer : Alain Poiré , Jean Thuillier
Music : Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Photography : Léonce-Henri Burel
IMDB ID : 0049902
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poster for "Un condamné à mort s'est échappé" by Robert Bresson (1956)
Un condamné à mort s'est échappé (1956) - Robert Bresson
 

Starring

François Leterrier Lieutenant Fontaine
Charles Le Clainche François Jost
Maurice Beerblock Blanchet
Roland Monod Le Pasteur
Jacques Ertaud Orsini
Jean Paul Delhumeau Hebrard
Roger Treherne Terry
Jean Philippe Delamarre Prisoner No, 110
César Gattegno Le Prisonnier X
Jacques Oerlemans Chief Warder
Klaus Detlef Grevenhorst German Intelligence Officer
Leonhard Schmidt Le Convoyeur
 

Plot

French Resistance activist Andre Devigny is imprisoned by the Nazis, and devotes his waking hours to planning an elaborate escape. Then, on the same day, he is condemned to death, and given a new cellmate. Should he kill him, or risk revealing his plans to someone who may be a Gestapo informer?
 

Comments

Art of Repetition Review Contains Spoilers Many have discovered this film and likened it to an emotional journey that manages to entrap the audience with a beautiful depiction of humanity.I would disagree.This is a very clinical film, structured and calculated in order to elicit the correct level of emotional impact from the viewer in a way not too dissimilar from the occasionally cloying style of Hollywood.This isn't necessarily a bad thing…,. just different. Bresson's concern is with creating an expressionistic fable, in which the use of cinematic artifice is employed in order to put the viewer into the perspective of the central character.The results are often alienating, but that is the whole point of the experiment.The characters drift through the story with little impact, which is all that is needed since the title gives away the ending anyway, as does the use of past-tense narration.Bresson creates his sequences with the use of sound design, and the repetitions of scenes, images and motifs. The art here then is in submerging ourselves in the notion of escape and the foreshadowing of the events that make the eventual escape possible.So we end up following the film as we would a book, with the constant fades to black acting as chapter points, giving the film an episodic quality that removes the notion of time from the protagonist's mind and in turn, removes it from ours.This is an interesting experiment in the limitations of film and the duality that can be created between the picture and the audience... but here lies the problem. For all its clever devices, the film never becomes anything more than an experiment.Despite the based on fact tag that opens the film, and the over-earnest austerity of the director's later work, one gets the impression that this is being made as preparation for something else.This is reason enough to see it, regardless of what we take away... but there are certainly better films out there that deserve you're attention.
 
poster for "Un condamné à mort s'est échappé"
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Un condamné à mort s'est échappé (1956) - Robert Bresson
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