Thursday, August 30, 2012

Olive Films to Release Region 1 DVD of Robert Bresson's "The Devil, Probably"

Hello all. A few days ago, I stumbled upon a pretty great piece of news for anyone who is at all keen on French cinema and one of its most significant figures, Robert Bresson. One of the filmmaker's last and most important films, 1977's The Devil, Probably (Le diable probablement), is finally going to be getting a release on Region One DVD on September 18th courtesy of Olive Films. Now, I had the chance to see this as well as a few other Bresson films earlier in the year at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, which ran a special retrospective of his work, and I will say that I'm not entirely enamoured with the film. However, its engaging narrative regarding a disillusioned young man who grows increasingly disturbed by the harmful forces around him and unusual craftsmanship as chosen by the ever-meticulous Bresson have certainly compelled me to think about it over time, and I am all too eager to give the film a second viewing. I've also read a number of illuminating pieces on it within the excellent volume Robert Bresson (Revised) edited by James Quandt, which only further stress The Devil, Probably's importance within both Bresson's body of work and world cinema (it had a great impact on Olivier Assayas, among other filmmakers). Thank you, Olive Films, for making it more readily available to us.

Shortly after the DVD is released, I will likely be writing a piece on the film that will be posted both here and at Row Three. Until then, I will leave you with a trailer below. Be warned - like the film itself, it is fairly chilly, dissonant, and ends on some real downer notes.

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