Sunday Morning! Robert Bresson’s “Pickpocket”

Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does many things. He is the author of the forthcoming book "The Paris Bureau" from Dio Press (early 2021).

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4 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    This sounds like a lovely surprise ending. I admit, the twist ending that I immediately thought of as soon as I heard the word “twist” was The Usual Suspects.

    A movie that everybody was singing the praises of and, when I saw it the first time, I thought “WOW I CAN’T BELIEVE IT” and then I sang the praises of it and said “you guys gotta watch it” and sat down and watched it again *AND IT SUCKED*. “Oh, I’m being lied to for two hours. Huh.”

    I suppose Sixth Sense gives another version of a twist sucking. You watch it once with one set of expectations. You watch it a second time to make sure that it follows “the rules”… and that’s it. After that it’s not really an interesting movie. But, at least, it was a movie that didn’t *LIE* to you. It just told you a story and let you fool yourself. It just wasn’t a story that bears being retold multiple times.

    A story about a guy who gets saved by love and the twist is that you didn’t see that coming? That sounds pretty good.Report

    • Rufus F. in reply to Jaybird says:

      I don’t know how many people think of Pickpocket as having a twist ending, but I do. It’s one where, once the ending happens, you think “Oh yeah, that’s exactly what the movie was about!” It still gets me. Even when the idea is borrowed. If you’ve ever seen American Gigolo, Paul Schrader pulls off almost *exactly the same ending* and it chokes me up!Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Rufus F. says:

        I thought “wait, the naked Richard Gere movie?” and, yep, there it is. Huh. I never saw it (being 8 when it came out) and by the time I was old enough to find it an interesting flick, well, it was a naked Richard Gere movie from 1980.


        • Rufus F. in reply to Jaybird says:

          That’s a great line: “…so I lifted the ending of Pickpocket and gave it to Julian Kaye. A grace note as unwarranted as Christ’s promise to the thief on the cross”.”

          It’s interesting when you realize just how religious Schrader and Scorsese were and are. I went and saw The Irishman last night and it made me think of a quote in an interview where Scorsese talks about his characters stumbling and trying but failing to find grace. Some of the last scenes in the movie reminded me vividly of Bresson.Report