The Devil, Probably

From the Chicago Reader (February 2, 1996). — J.R.

The-Devil-Probably

Robert Bresson’s penultimate feature (1977) — his only original script apart from his early short Les affaires publiques and his masterpiece Au hasard Balthazar — is 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 editorializing — which improbably recalls Samuel Fuller in its anger and dynamic energy — but 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. Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Friday, February 2, 7:00 and 9:00; Saturday and Sunday, February 3 and 4, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, and 9:00; and Monday through Thursday, February 5 through 8, 7:00 and 9:00; 281-4114.  — Jonathan Rosenbaum

TheDevilProbably

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.

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