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Pickpocket

Screening on Film
Directed by Robert Bresson.
With Martin Lassalle, Marika Green, Pierre Leymarie.
France, 1959, 35mm, black & white, 75 min.
French with English subtitles.
Print source: Janus Films

The first film for which Bresson composed an entirely original script, this tale of a lonely young man who embarks on a career as a petty thief was partly inspired by Crime and Punishment. In Pickpocket, however, Bresson deals more directly with themes of submission and salvation, and said that “with theft [he] entered by the back door into the kingdom of morality.”  Pickpocket has been praised by generations of fellow directors, including Louis Malle, who described it as “one of the four or five major events in the history of cinema.”

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