Robert Bresson

Mouchette

Mouchette

Robert Bresson plumbs great reservoirs of feeling with Mouchette, one of the most searing portraits of human desperation ever put on film. With a dying mother, an absent, alcoholic father, and a baby brother in need of care, the teenage Mouchette seeks solace and respite from her circumstances in the nature of the French countryside and daily routine. Bresson deploys his trademark minimalist style to heartbreaking effect in this essential work of French filmmaking, a hugely empathetic drama that elevates its trapped protagonist into one of the cinema’s most memorable tragic figures.

Film Info

  • Robert Bresson
  • France
  • 1967
  • 81 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.66:1
  • French
  • Spine #363

Special Features

  • Blu-ray: New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • DVD: Restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary from 2006 by film scholar, critic, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
  • Au hasard Bresson (1967), a documentary by Theodor Kotulla, featuring director Robert Bresson on the set of Mouchette
  • Segment of a 1967 episode of the French television series Cinéma, featuring on-set interviews with Bresson and actors Nadine Nortier and Jean-Claude Guilbert
  • Original theatrical trailer, cut by Jean-Luc Godard
  • PLUS: An essay by critic and poet Robert Polito

Cover by Sarah Habibi

Purchase Options

Coming soon, available Dec 8, 2020

Special Features

  • Blu-ray: New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • DVD: Restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary from 2006 by film scholar, critic, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
  • Au hasard Bresson (1967), a documentary by Theodor Kotulla, featuring director Robert Bresson on the set of Mouchette
  • Segment of a 1967 episode of the French television series Cinéma, featuring on-set interviews with Bresson and actors Nadine Nortier and Jean-Claude Guilbert
  • Original theatrical trailer, cut by Jean-Luc Godard
  • PLUS: An essay by critic and poet Robert Polito

Cover by Sarah Habibi

Mouchette
Cast
Nadine Nortier
Mouchette
Jean-Claude Guilbert
Arsène
Marie Cardinal
Mother
Paul Hebert
Father
Jean Vimenet
Mathieu
Marie Susini
Mathieu’s wife
Suzanne Huguenin
Layer-out of the dead
Marine Trichet
Louisa
Raymonde Chabrun
Grocer
Credits
Director
Robert Bresson
Producer
Anatole Dauman
Screenplay
Robert Bresson
Based upon the novel by
Georges Bernanos
Director of photography
Ghislain Cloquet
Editor
Raymond Lamy
Set designer
Pierre Guffroy
Original music by
Jean Wiener
“Magnificat” by
Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor
R. P. Émile Martin
Costume designer
Odette Le Barbenchon
Production manager
Michel Choquet
Production manager
Philippe Dussart
Production manager
René Pascal
Assistant director
Jacques Kébadian
Assistant director
Mylène Van
Prop master
Jean Catala
Sound
Jacques Carrère
Sound
Daniel Couteau
Sound
Séverin Frankiel
Assistant cameraman
Emmanuel Machuel
Assistant cameraman
Paul Bonis
Camera operator
Jean Chiabaut
Assistant editor
Arlette Lalande
Script supervisor
Françoise Renberg

From The Current

Mouchette: Girl, Interrupted
Mouchette: Girl, Interrupted
“Between thought and expression”—as Lou Reed wrote in the Velvet Underground song “Some Kinda Love”—“lies a lifetime.” Mouchette, and maybe all Robert Bresson’s inexhaustible, majestic films, transpire in that puzzling space “betw…

By Robert Polito

Once There Was Everything
Once There Was Everything

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By Kogonada

Hands of Bresson
Hands of Bresson

The dramatic and moral weight of the French master’s films is often carried by recurring images of characters’ hands.

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Kelly Reichardt’s Top 10
Kelly Reichardt’s Top 10

On the occasion of the release of her latest film, First Cow, the acclaimed director shares a list of masterpieces that have been touchstones for her throughout her moviegoing life.

Anahita Ghazvinizadeh Pays Homage to Bresson
Anahita Ghazvinizadeh Pays Homage to Bresson
Anahita Ghazvinizadeh’s short film Needle, which won the 2013 Cinefondation prize at Cannes, premieres today on the Criterion Channel as part of our weekly Short + Feature. I first met Anahita through programming the short at the Chicago Internatio…

By Penelope Bartlett

Explore

Robert Bresson

Writer, Director

Robert Bresson
Robert Bresson

A singular, iconoclastic artist and philosopher, Robert Bresson illuminates the history of cinema with a spiritual yet socially incisive body of work. Famously dubbed a “transcendental” filmmaker (along with Yasujiro Ozu and Carl Dreyer) by Paul Schrader, Bresson is notable for continually refining the strict precision of his style—abolishing psychology, professional actors, and ornate camera work, and instead concentrating on the rigid movements of his “models” (as he called his actors) and the anguished solitude of his martyred characters. While the alternately tender and brutal allegory Au hasard Balthazar is widely considered Bresson’s masterpiece, he had a long, visionary career that began in the forties and ended in the eighties, and was full of consistently fine films—the period drama Les dames du bois de Boulogne, the ascetic character study Diary of a Country Priest, and the minimalist tragedies Pickpocket and Mouchette among them.