Author(s): Robert Bresson
Robert Bresson's Notes on the Cinematographer are working memos which the great French director made for his own use. In all of them, Bresson reflects with a craftsman's insight on techniques and their philosophical and aesthetic implications. Not surprisingly, these acute reflections will not only sharpen a filmmaker's sensibility but that of any artist in any medium. Bresson makes some quite radical distinctions between what he terms "cinematography" and something quite different: "cinema" - which is for him nothing but an attempt to photograph theater and use it for the screen. Director of The Trial of Joan of Arc, Pickpocket, A Prisoner Escapes, Diary of a Country Priest, Money, and many other classic films, Bresson is, quite simply, one of the most brilliant cinematographers in the history of film.
Bresson's highly-regarded book on film theory and criticism, Notes on the Cinematograph, gives readers a peak into the mind of the influential French director. Until now, Bresson's classic of film literature has been rare and expensive. NYRB Classics is thrilled to bring these "notes"--ranging from thoughts on the art of cinematography to the art of life--to a broader audience.
Robert Bresson (1901-1999) was a renowned French film director, whose work was characterized by his minimalist style and interest in actor (or "character") movement. Bresson directed thirteen films over forty years, including Au hasard Balthazar (1966), which is considered his masterpiece. Jonathan Griffin (1906-1990) was a translator, poet, and diplomat, who served as Director of BBC European Intelligence during World War Two. In addition to translating works by Robert Bresson, he translated Jean Giono novels, General de Gaulle's memoirs, and art criticism by Rene Huyghe. A collection of Griffin's poetry, In Earthlight, was published in 1995 by Menard Press.