Diary of a Country Priest
A young priest arrives in the rural hamlet of Ambricourt in northern France to attend to his first parish. Confronted with an indifferent and often hostile congregation, he's thrown into a crisis of faith that plays out on the pages of his private journal. As he commits himself to overcoming the villagers' apathy at all costs, he pursues an ascetic life sustained by a diet of bread, sweetened wine and contemplation. Writer/director Robert Bresson also strips away the inessential. The film's restraint—low-key performances, elliptical edits, unobtrusive compositions, piercing long takes—intensifies the spiritual journey of a man approaching sainthood. Bresson's fourth film brought the director international acclaim cemented his stature as France's preeminent postwar auteur and influenced directors as disparate as Martin Scorsese, Olivier Assayas, Kathryn Bigelow and Pedro Costa. (Travis Bickle, the eponymous Taxi Driver, was inspired by Bresson's introverted priest.) Pauline Kael praised Bresson's film as "One of the most profound emotional experiences in the history of film. No other director, with the possible exception of Dreyer with The Passion of Joan of Arc, has come so close to communicating a religious experience."
Bing Theater | $10 general admission. $7 museum members, seniors (62+), students with valid ID. | New 35mm print!