Friday, November 15, 2013

Film&Fashion Fridays : Robert Bresson's Une femme douce

First of all, this is really frustrating : this beautiful film only exists in a fuzzy VHS copy for private viewing.

I know that a few years ago I watched ane enjoyed Four Nights of a Dreamer in a similar crappy hardsubbed VHS rip, but after seeing this in cinema on Wednesday, I simply can't imagine watching this any other way.

Sure, it was a DCP (which I normally despise ), but the colors were still vivid, the light soft and the general cinematography simply...lush. It's a very unusual term to associate Bresson with, but that's exactly the impression that the film gives.

I mean one of my thoughts through the film was - omg I need to screencap like everything!

There's this simple unreal elegance to the film and the characters; the wardrobe is fairly limited and almsot dull, but boy did I ever lust after a grey skirt so badly!

17 year old Dominique Sanda ( previous Vogue model ) is wearing probably the coolest coat on earth - a mix between a parka and a 60s swing coat; literally the most stylish parka even that's so stylish it's not a parka anymore. It's 1969 after all.

Her outfits are mostly tight white collar blouses and nipple-clinging sweaters, paired with the same high waisted pleated grey skirt and black loafers.

I'm not 100% happy with their choice of hair, but she still looks stunning - the perfect French gamine.

The male characters are wearing suits with skinny ties and grandpa cardigans.

Then again, this is Bresson so the fim is very spare, the streets and rooms seem empty and obsolete and the characters lack any psychology.

We don't see fights, we see the girl walking away when her husband does something upsetting or just because, then we learned she probably wanders the streets or sleeps with someone else.

It's a very sad, dark tale that might be quite hard to understand, yet it's also very touching and well, troubling.

The thing that really bothered me was the obvious use of dubbing - sure, Bresson is famous for doing that in order to convey this rupture from reality, this surreal discrepancy, but when it comes to laughter and sex sounds done in the studio the result is simply annoying.

Might I add it's adapted after a Dostoievsky novel and takes place in an antiques pawn shop?

These first few images surfaced due to the French re-release in teathers; let's hope that would lead to the obvious DVD release, although we can't really hope for English subs. The rest are pretty much the best I could find; you understand my aforementioned frustration looking at the two groups? The next best thing are the two poster designs, where the Polish one simply wipes the floor with the French version.

Une femme douce might still be a largely overlooked Bresson film, but I think it might be q good introduction to his works, at least from the eye candy point of view. So seriously, go see it if it plays near you!


  1. I am absolutely obsessed with Dominique Sanda's coat. How lovely. xxxo

  2. Yeah the hair is a little 1950s housewife but overall there's something about a VHS edition of a film that makes it that much more awesome!

    1. i really don't like the whole fake high ponytail thing, it should be all down.
      and sure, vhs only sounds awesome and i love decaying images as much as the next person but believe me, it's like seeing a completely different movie! still bad print >>>>>better than a digital transfer

  3. That poster isn't polish, it was made by Olga Poláčková-Vyleťalová, she was born in Czechoslovakia (now there are two countries: the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and she is Czech). However, there is a polish version of this poster, you can look at this page :)