B&W, Blu-ray projection source
76 min.


Sunday, Mar. 18 at 7:00pm

This incomparable story of crime and redemption from the French master Robert Bresson follows Michel, a young pickpocket who spends his days working the streets, subway cars, and train stations of Paris. As his compulsive pursuit of the thrill of stealing grows, however, so does his fear that his luck is about to run out. A cornerstone of the career of this most economical and profoundly spiritual of filmmakers, “Pickpocket” is an elegantly crafted, tautly choreographed study of humanity in all its mischief and grace, the work of a director at the height of his powers.

Dave Kehr of the Chicago Reader writes: “Robert Bresson made this short electrifying study in 1959; it's one of his greatest and purest films, full of hushed transgression and sudden grace. A petty thief (Martin Lasalle) becomes addicted to the art and thrill of picking pockets. He loses his friends and fiancee, and begins to live like a monk, concentrating his entire being on his obsessional, increasingly devotional acts of theft. If the film seems familiar, that's because Paul Schrader recycled great chunks of it in his scripts for ‘Taxi Driver,’ ‘American Gigolo,’ and ‘Raging Bull.’ But the original retains its awesome, austere power.”


Robert Bresson

With an introduction and post-film discussion by Calvin Wilson, film, jazz, art, and dance critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.