Tag Archives: Robert Bresson


The iconoclastic writer and director Paul Schrader will be at the Aero for two nights of screenings this week, engaging the audience with a discussion of his work.

On Wednesday night, Schrader will introduce two of his films from the 1990s: AFFLICTION (with Nick Nolte and Sissy Spacek) and LIGHT SLEEPER (Willem Dafoe and Susan Sarandon).

The following evening the director will present his latest work, the Bresson-meets-pulp fiction tour de force FIRST REFORMED. The film’s star Ethan Hawke will join Schrader for a post-screening conversation.

“When I look back on my life and think of the various people who have befriended me, whether it be Pauline Kael or Charles Eames or whoever, obviously they saw in me a hungry, thirsty sensibility that wanted what they had to give very badly, and if you’re a decent person then you realize that this is what you are put on this earth to do…

“[Eames taught me] that the cult of personality is transient, that we are in fact all alike and that if you don’t understand how we are alike then you won’t get anything done.” — Paul Schrader, 1989*


Wednesday, May 9, at 7:30 pm.


Member’s screening on Thursday, May 10, at 7:30 pm.

For membership information, see: egyptiantheatre.com/join

Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.

* From Schrader on Schrader & Other Writings, edited by Kevin Jackson (London: Faber and Faber, 1990), 27.

From top: Ethan Hawke, poster detail, First ReformedSusan Sarandon and Willem Dafoe in Light Sleeper (1992).


A 35mm print of Robert Bresson’s empathetic masterpiece AU HASARD BALTHAZAR (1966) will screen this week in Westwood, and philosopher and ethologist Vinciane Despret—author of What Would Animals Say If We Asked the Right Questions? —will be on hand to discuss the film.

Balthazar is a donkey that we follow throughout his working life with many masters, especially his first owner—Marie (Anne Wiazemsky), the farmer’s daughter—who gives him his name.

“Although the donkey has no way of revealing its thoughts, that doesn’t prevent us from supplying them—quite the contrary; we regard that white-spotted furry face and those big eyes, and we feel sympathy with every experience the donkey undergoes. That is Bresson’s civilizing and even spiritual purpose in most of his films; we must go to the characters, instead of passively letting them come to us.” — Roger Ebert

This screening is part of the UCLA Film and Television Archive program Europe in Four Themes—Animals.



Friday, February 23, at 7:30 pm.

Hammer Museum, Billy Wilder Theater

10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles.

Above: Balthazar and Anne Wiazemsky in Au hasard Balthazar.

Below: Wiazemsky.


Between 1949 and 1956, Luchino Visconti directed Marcello Mastroianni onstage seven times, mostly in Rome. Reflecting the early years of what David Thomson called “Visconti’s taste for high–minded literary thunder,” Mastroianni played the younger son in Death of a Salesman, Michail Astrov in Uncle Vanya, and Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire, among others.

For their first film together, Visconti and Mastroianni chose Dostoevsky’s “White Nights”—also the source for Robert Bresson ’s Quatre nuits d’un rêveur—the story of a lonely, nameless narrator and his brief, unfulfilled encounter with an unattainable young woman. Visconti’s 1957 version, LE NOTTI BIANCHE/WHITE NIGHTS, co-stars Maria Schell and Jean Marais.

Ten years later, after Alain Delon dropped out of the role, Mastroianni—by then an international star—reunited with the director to play Meursault in LO STRANIERO/THE STRANGER, an unjustly forgotten film unavailable on DVD. Anna Karina and Bernard Blier co-star.

As part of their Il bello Marcello series, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will screen both Visconti/Mastroianni collaborations in beautiful 35 mm prints from the Istituto Luce Cinecittà.



Thursday, May 25, at 2 pm.


Saturday, May 27, at 7 pm, and Tuesday, May 30, at 4:15 pm.

Walter Reade Theater

165 West 65th Street, New York City.

Top: Marcello Mastroianni and Maria Schell in Le Notti bianche.

Above: Jean Marais (left), Schell, and Mastroianni on set, Le Notti bianche. Image credit: AFP/Getty Images.

Below: Mastroianni in Lo Straniero.