Robert Bresson et l'absence sublime
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This thesis asserts that the demanding body of work of French filmmaker Robert Bresson may be better understood through the notion of sublime absence which we develop and present here. To begin, we offer a survey of the tradition of the thought of the sublime, while establishing pertinent comparisons between the notions and terminology of this philosophical current and Bresson’s films, observations which will orient the rest of our reflections. Following that, we connect this Bressonian sublime to his book Notes on the cinematographer in its philosophical, artistic and technical dimensions. Finally, we devote the last part of the study to a close analysis of five sequences from five films by Bresson. There we demonstrate the singular link between a representation of the everyday in its most ordinary aspects and an evocation of haunting absence, a troubling balance that is transformed by Bresson’s genius into a sublime art of profound everydayness, unique in cinema.