Final Day! Thursday, January 26

  • 1:00 3:15 5:30 7:45 10:00

$7 Member  $12.50 Regular

*****! 5 STARS!
[highest rating]
"Boils a true-story prison break down to its bare necessities...and focuses, single-mindedly and laserlike, on every painstaking preparation for an exit strategy... Only an artist can take these elements and, having escaped from the tyranny of Hollywood-ish excess, fashion them into a tale of genuine grace under pressure... Sparseness can be rich beyond belief; the proof is now unspooling before your very eyes."

– David Fear, TIme Out New York
Click here to read the full review.

Bresson’s A MAN ESCAPED

(1956) “The story is true. I give it as it is, without embellishment.” – Bresson. Lyons, Occupied France, 1943: in a 3 x 2 meter cell in Fort Montluc after an abortive leap from the car taking him there, Lieutenant François Leterrier immediately starts thinking of breaking out. And then begin those moments of chance — or are they acts of Providence? — that are ultimately vital: the surprise care package that arrives just as an announced search is imminent; the friend’s unsuccessful escape attempt that gives him essential information; the unwelcome last-minute roommate in half-German uniform who must be killed or enlisted. And the intense focus on what Eric Rohmer called “the miracle of objects”: the string and sack for communication to the outside; the pin that unlocks the cuffs; the spoon turned into a chisel; the strips of cloth interwoven with wire from the bed supports; the pencil that can mean death. And, in a very quiet film, the orchestration of sounds: Leterrier’s calm voiceovers; the seven interjections of the Kyrie from Mozart’s Mass in C Minor; footsteps in the corridors; keys clinking; coded taps on the wall; the rat-tat-tat of execution; the squeak of a guard’s bicycle. A wartime POW himself, Bresson based his first solo screenplay on the account of an actual escape by André Devigny (who worked closely with him on making the details accurate) and filmed on location at the actual fort, with the cell and corridor built in the studio to the exact specifications, creating a work of both intense mysticism and mortal suspense. Approx. 99 minutes.

Bresson’s A MAN ESCAPED

REVIEWS

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"THE GREATEST ART FILM YOU'VE NEVER SEEN! The beauty of it is that Bresson’s obsessively quiet, meticulous, and understated style allows us to experience a prison escape not in the usual overwrought movie terms, but as it might really have happened. That makes A Man Escaped more thrilling than any thriller."
– Owen Gleiberman, NY1
Click here to watch video review.

A MARVELOUS MOVIE! Bresson’s hero’s ascetic, single-minded dedication to escape is almost mystic, and the fortress constitutes a world as impersonal and as isolated as Kafka’s... Shot at Montluc with fanatic authenticity; the photography, by Léonce-Henri Burel, is austerely beautiful. A Sorbonne philosophy student is the lead. The music is Mozart’s Mass. All this makes it sound terribly pretentious, yet sometimes even the worst ideas can be made to work. ” 
– Pauline Kael

THE BEST OF ALL PRISON-ESCAPE MOVIES! ESSENTIAL VIEWING! Reconstructs the very notion of freedom through offscreen sounds and defines salvation in terms of painstakingly patient and meticulous effort. Bresson himself spent part of the war in an internment camp and subsequently lived through the German occupation of France, experiences that inform his magisterial grasp of what the concentrated use of sound and image can reveal about souls in hiding.” 
– Jonathan Rosenbaum

****! 4 STARS!
[highest rating]
"What's dazzling here is the paradoxical coexistence of a story that's both right before our eyes, as well as invisible and intangible...  A Man Escaped, with a spoiler in its very title, is the axiomatic Bresson film, in that it's about what it's about (an imprisoned man escapes), but, at the same time, rises above its earthly architecture, in each moment conveying what's within—and what's outside."

– Jaime N. Christley, Slant Magazine
Click here to read the full review.

“ONE OF THE MOST RIVETING FILMS EVER MADE!”
– Time Out New York

“A film about the triumph of the will — and obviously I choose those words very carefully. It is an acceptance of fate, too. But it is a fierce film, as well as utterly humble... Bresson’s second masterpiece.”
– David Thomson

“The kind of film which inspires awe, even in an atheist.” – Nigel Floyd, Time Out (London)

"THE GREATEST OF ALL PRISON-BREAK MOVIES! An astoundingly detailed account of the activities of homo faber—man the toolmaker, or, in this case, man the escape artist, who begins with only a heavy spoon and, piece by piece, creates the means of his physical and spiritual liberation."
– David Denby, The New Yorker

A JANUS FILMS RELEASE