Director: Robert Bresson
Year Released: 1959
Deceptively simple story of a young man who learns the craft of pick-pocketing to make a modest living, but really can't adapt to the world itself, locked away with his books and thoughts and unable to commit to his girlfriend. Bresson makes movies so completely unlike anyone else that it's mind boggling seeing this the day after Spielberg's very good but very elaborate Munich, reminding me of how powerful a film can be even with the most modest of resources. It's strange how the 'performances' come across on film: the 'models,' with their lack of acting experience, convey this sense of world-weariness that might not have worked with seasoned actors - their gestures are sometimes artificial and awkward and their eyes are usually cast to the floor, but it still generates a strong sense of empathy. Bresson was an artist of the highest order.