L'argent aka Money (Robert Bresson, 1983)

The final film of filmmaker Robert Bresson was shot when he was 82 years old and couldn't be fresher or more bressonian. While keeping his monotone dialogues, slow paced action of almost boring subjects the themes exploited by his story always bring deep meaning about society. This 1983 release couldn't be more actual, the 1980's were a period of great economic depression and the thought of making fast money by conterfeit or robbery might be something that occured in the mind of many twisted people. A lot like in the 1930's where the gangs like Dillinger's, Bonnie and Clyde, and all those famous robbers.

The case here, is on how fake money can alter and change the life of people and how ironic this trading of money touches everything we do in life. Well, if you are like me; I don't even have money with me anymore, I only carry my credit card or my debit card. Still, this is money and a materialist property. Based on Tolstoy's novel A Fake Coupon, L'argent demonstrates how malevolent and immoral money really is in our society. The themes of greed, corruption, class struggles, and criminality are all provoked by money and the materialist world we all lie in. The christian values of forgiveness, sharing, and charity are all flouted by the greed of the young criminal. I mention christian values because Bresson always exploited themes around the spirituality and the values it represents as another level of reading in his films. This is the focal point of the film and it leads to its final and tragic ending.

However, Bresson's films are so cold and unappealing that it is difficult to fully appreciate and love them, they are must sees and as a filmmaker he influenced a lot of directors of today; just take a look at the brothers Dardennes' films for example. Getting warmer for the Seven Days of the French New Wave in the first days of December...


  1. An excellent film, then again almost all of Bresson's work was amazing. I love how the story follows the trail of the bill instead of any one person, and it is telling how many of these themes are still prevalent today almost 30 years later

  2. Exactly BT! I also like the way Bresson injected his vision and his themes into this contemporary story. As always it's nice to hear from you!

  3. The languid shots of the crimes taking place are amazing, breath-taking. It's amazing how much Bresson could show without any dialogue.

  4. Rightly said John! Bresson had this storytelling approach to film that only a few filmmakers owned!


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