The Devil, Probably

Robert Bresson’s penultimate feature (1977)his only original script apart from his early short Affaires publiques and his masterpiece Au hasard Balthazaris a ringing indictment of the modern world, centered on the suicide of a disaffected 20-year-old Parisian. There’s something mannered and at times even freakish about Bresson’s handling of well-clothed adolescents and his multifaceted editorializingwhich improbably recalls Samuel Fuller in its anger and dynamic energybut the power and conviction of this bitter, reflective parable are remarkable. Not a masterwork perhaps, but certainly the work of a master, and, judging from the work of many of his young French disciples (including Leos Carax), one of his most influential features. (JR)

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