You can’t talk about Robert Bresson for long before his use of sound comes up. His stripped-down masterpieces are memorable for the way they engage the ear as well as the eye. A Man Escaped, out this week on Blu-ray and DVD, is an especially rich aural experience, as film scholars David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson explain in a new visual essay, which sets clips from the film to a reading (by actor Dan Stewart) of ”Functions of Film Sound,” a chapter from their book Film Art: An Introduction. Here are the first few minutes of the essay, which establish the environment of Bresson’s classic prison-escape film and discuss his fascinating use of nonsimultaneous audio commentary. The whole thing can be seen on the discs.
Digging Through Movie History at Chaplin’s Studios
Film scholar Craig Barron gives us a tour of the studios on whose back lot Charlie Chaplin built the set for his final film of the silent era, The Circus.
Career Women in the Land of Lubitsch
Critics Molly Haskell and Farran Smith Nehme talk about the highly idiosyncratic heroines who populate Ernst Lubitsch’s comedies, including the protagonist of his final film, Cluny Brown.
Ritwik Ghatak’s Pursuit of Truth Beyond Realism
Acclaimed Indian filmmakers Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Kumar Shahani discuss how the Bengali master mixed expressionism and naturalism in his devastating domestic tragedy The Cloud-Capped Star.