White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Movie: Money

Morality, Social Responsibility, Our responsibility's towards an individuals faith... All these are touched in a masterpiece named L'argent (aka "Money") by the late cinema director Robert Bresson. I watched "Money" 15 years ago on Iranian TV and it shaked me. And after years I got a chance to go back to it which was as fresh as before.

The movie is a story of an unlucky young labor whose life and destiny is change by series of selfish and irresponsible actions of other individuals. The story line is very simple and straight, but throughout such simple story, we get challenged by important question about the consequences of our greedy actions in the society.

Bresson has a unique style of narration. In Money he pictures violence and darkness of modern society without a single violent scene. Of course he's one of the legends of the French new wave and many of subtle elements of the genre are visible in his work. But what really strikes me in Money is Bresson's ability to lead audience's imagination towards a deep sense of the situation. There is a scene that the main character of the movie is sentenced to prison. He simply looks at the camera. No music, no special sound. But the close up shot and the silence works effectively. He looks to us, the society who simply watches him going down. And later we will see that the society pays dearly for that and he has a second deep look at us.

I recently had a discussion with a film lover friend about the popularity of the violence in the independent cinema. Contrary to my protest, she believes that to picture the depth of darkness and violence of our time, we should picture it totally naked. Examples of such picture are quite out there: "Sin City" or "Kill Bill", "Amores Peros", etc. Looking back at "Money", I once again challenge such a requirement. Money is deeply dark and violent for me, but at the same time, it is a movie that we can show it to middle school children.
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