Fifth about The Seventh

Pickpocket (1959)

Pickpocket: Robert Bresson made two choices that made this little drama about a small-time crook more interesting, but also harder to watch: the protagonist is fully unlikeable, and emotions are stripped down to a bare minimum. One of the ways this is executed is by having non-professional actors reading the dialogue in the most neutral way possible; it’s certainly off-putting. The casting is spot-on, in any case, as Martin LaSalle’s gaunt, disjointed look (accentuated by his ill-fitting suit) is a great fit for the character, while Marika Green’s gamine, innocent look justifies the protagonist’s path. Still, the film navigates towards a conclusion that doesn’t quite feel fully justified. Cinematographer Léonce-Henri Burel’s work is elegant, with the pickpocketing sequences, in particular, being a joy to watch, thanks additionally to editor Raymond Lamy.

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