297 Au hasard Balthazar

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Soothsayer
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#151 Post by Soothsayer » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:16 pm

Zot! wrote:My Bresson theory is but a distant memory, but I thought he specifically went to no lengths at all to influence his "models". Hence my snide comment.
Bresson would not give specific comments on how anyone performed in a take, and would instead ask for many takes (not to mention a *lot* of rehearsal before filming even commences). To equate that to not trying to influence the players in his films would be misguided, imo. The repetition of takes in itself is an influence (Kubrick used similar tactics). Repetition of a performance tends to drain emotion, but the emotion isn't necessarily gone (I've always seen it as internalized).

As well, to watch a Bresson film, specifically for performances from actors (or "models", whatever your semantic preference), it would be hard to believe that those performances would be the same from a different director. The consistency in the performance styles throughout Bresson films strongly point to Bresson being the universal factor.

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Ribs
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#152 Post by Ribs » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:26 pm

Upgrade in May!!

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Luke M
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#153 Post by Luke M » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:44 pm

My favorite of this month’s announcements

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modernmalaise
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#154 Post by modernmalaise » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:33 pm

It now says that the film underwent a 4K restoration.

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dwk
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#155 Post by dwk » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:37 pm


connor
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#156 Post by connor » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:28 pm

I've always been curious: was the final scene staged? Always had a hard time watching animal cruelty of any kind in films so the ambiguity here has always made it difficult for me to watch.

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whaleallright
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#157 Post by whaleallright » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:37 pm

The donkey was drugged and fell asleep.

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bunuelian
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#158 Post by bunuelian » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:44 pm

I've always felt uncomfortable with the fire scene. It's not Rublev bad, by any means, but it's sad to watch.

Some rather dark looking frames on Beaver, but I can't imagine not upgrading at some point.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#159 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:38 pm

whaleallright wrote:The donkey was drugged and fell asleep.
.. and never woke up again, because it got too big a dose (supposedly).

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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#160 Post by whaleallright » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:45 pm

Really? where did you read that?

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miless
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#161 Post by miless » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:12 am

bunuelian wrote: Some rather dark looking frames on Beaver, but I can't imagine not upgrading at some point.
I've seen this numerous times on 35mm and the prints were always quite dark (particularly the day-for-night sequences). It seems pretty accurate, if even a bit bright sometimes

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#162 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:42 am

whaleallright wrote:Really? where did you read that?
I read it ages ago. I think Bresson himself said this in an interview. But I can't find a reference at the moment.

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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#163 Post by domino harvey » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:06 am

Michael Kerpan wrote:
whaleallright wrote:Really? where did you read that?
I read it ages ago. I think Bresson himself said this in an interview. But I can't find a reference at the moment.
I'm not saying you're wrong, because I don't know, but doesn't that seem like a huge deal that people would remember and mention all the time in discussion with this film, given its animal lover fan base? This just seems pretty unlikely

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whaleallright
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#164 Post by whaleallright » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:22 pm

also, if the donkey died, then how did they get this candid photo of him dressed up for the premiere at the Venice Film Festival?

Image

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Big Ben
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#165 Post by Big Ben » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:37 pm

Eagerly awaiting the Balthazar Truther movement to become mainstream.

In all seriousness though treatment of animals has always been pretty bad in films and we all know that. I know a guy who worked on Heaven's Gate and he tells a horror story about how Cimino blew up a horse on set. Given filmmakers treatment of animals in film around that time (And right up to the eighties.) I can't imagine that if the donkey did die it would have made much of a stir at the time correct?

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#166 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:55 pm

As I recall, Bresson was apologetic, saying the dose had been miscalculated. Maybe I hallucinated this -- but I don't _think_ so. (The context was a discussion of how that final scene was done)....

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Magic Hate Ball
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#167 Post by Magic Hate Ball » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:50 am

Big Ben wrote:I know a guy who worked on Heaven's Gate and he tells a horror story about how Cimino blew up a horse on set.
John "one-upper" Landis

connor
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#168 Post by connor » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:06 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:As I recall, Bresson was apologetic, saying the dose had been miscalculated. Maybe I hallucinated this -- but I don't _think_ so. (The context was a discussion of how that final scene was done)....
Well, let us know if you ever find the interview. Was it in print or a filmed interview?

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#169 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:19 pm

connor wrote:Well, let us know if you ever find the interview. Was it in print or a filmed interview?
Well, I _read_ it in written form -- but it could have been from a transcription of a recorded interview of some sort. ;-)

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Roger Ryan
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#170 Post by Roger Ryan » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:19 am

While browsing at a book store last night, I came upon Bresson on Bresson: Interviews, 1943 - 1983 which has multiple chapters where Bresson discusses the making of Au hasard Balthazar. The director noted that he wanted the donkey to appear as natural as possible and not "trained" to behave in a certain way. Since the donkey would have to undergo some kind of training to perform in the circus scenes, Bresson claimed in two separate interviews that he shot everything else in the film first then sent the donkey off for two months of training before shooting the scenes at the circus. Given this schedule, the donkey's "death" scene would not have been the last footage shot, which contradicts the notion of the animal's accidental death by drugging. Bresson's only comment in the book regarding the death scene was that he had trepidation about successfully realizing the scene since he was working with an animal who proved to not be all that cooperative.

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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#171 Post by connor » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:36 pm

Roger Ryan wrote:While browsing at a book store last night, I came upon Bresson on Bresson: Interviews, 1943 - 1983 which has multiple chapters where Bresson discusses the making of Au hasard Balthazar. The director noted that he wanted the donkey to appear as natural as possible and not "trained" to behave in a certain way. Since the donkey would have to undergo some kind of training to perform in the circus scenes, Bresson claimed in two separate interviews that he shot everything else in the film first then sent the donkey off for two months of training before shooting the scenes at the circus. Given this schedule, the donkey's "death" scene would not have been the last footage shot, which contradicts the notion of the animal's accidental death by drugging. Bresson's only comment in the book regarding the death scene was that he had trepidation about successfully realizing the scene since he was working with an animal who proved to not be all that cooperative.
I think you've solved it. Thank you -- I can now watch the film and be manageably sad at the end, and not crushingly so.

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whaleallright
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#172 Post by whaleallright » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:16 pm

Roger Ryan wrote:The director noted that he wanted the donkey to appear as natural as possible and not "trained" to behave in a certain way. Since the donkey would have to undergo some kind of training to perform in the circus scenes....
Who knew the donkey was a method actor?

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Big Ben
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#173 Post by Big Ben » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:44 pm

Donkeys are actually intelligent animals despite their reputation. They don't have the tendency to panic like horses and instead just sort of freeze when scared and as such have a reputation for being stubborn. An untrained animal would look far more natural but it would also have a tendency to not give a shit (This is of course an obvious statement.) about whatever Bresson wanted. I imagine the set was rather lively at times because of this. You haven't lived until you've seen an obstinate donkey.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 297 Au hasard Balthazar

#174 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:05 pm

Obviously a false, implanted memory.... ( a la PK Dick) :-(

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