Previously Played

PICKPOCKET

  • FRI 1:00 2:40 4:20 6:00 9:40
  • SAT 1:00 2:40 4:20 6:00 7:40 9:20

$7 Member  $12.50 Regular

(1959) Chronicle of a young man’s rise and fall as a master pickpocket (played by non-pro Martin Lasalle). If suspense was not unknown in the works of the normally austere Bresson (see A Man Escaped, playing January 20), little in his previous oeuvre could prepare us for what amounts to a tour-de-force action scene, a series of takings, passings, and disposals in the actual Gare de Lyon.

REVIEWS

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“DON’T MISS! Bresson’s terse classic plays out like a Russian novel stripped of all pretensions. 
A rigorous look at one man’s journey becomes a liberating experience for all.”

– David Fear, Time Out New York

“Bresson’s parable of crime and redemption is timeless, achieving a state of spiritual grace rarely seen, or even contemplated, in the secular medium of cinema.”
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"Marks the apotheosis of Bresson’s stripped-down style... See it once to appreciate the spare elegance of the pickpocketing scenes, and then a second time to appreciate how subtly Bresson accomplishes the story of a man’s self-willed corruption, his liberation through imprisonment and his redemption through love, all in less than 80 minutes."
– Andrew O'Hehir, Salon

“The nimble crime of the title, perfected by a fiercely philosophical outlaw,
is itself a work of art, and Bresson reveals it, in all of its varieties, as a furtive street ballet.”

– Richard Brody, The New Yorker

"Bresson distills narrative down to a particular essence of looks, gestures, and precisely placed audio effects. ('The noises must become music,' he wrote in his notebooks.) His mise-en-scéne is as understated as his montage is  aggressive— creating performances out of reaction shots, using sound to signify offscreen events... Ultimately inexplicable, this concentrated, elliptical, economical movie is an experience that never loses its strangeness."
– J. Hoberman, Village Voice

“Black-and-white images in the summer sun... of hands flexing uncontrollably,
of eyes opaque to the camera’s gaze... a tone poem on displaced desire.”

– Chris Auty, Time Out (London)