Robert Bresson retrospective starts tonight at the Aero

The Poetry of Precision: A Robert Bresson Retrospective starts tonight at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Starting the series is a new 35 mm print of a superb prison drama based on actual events: “A Man Escaped” (1956). François Truffaut called Bresson’s work, upon its release, “the most important film of the last 10 years.”

Though Bresson, known for his spare, unflinching vision and for addressing religious and spiritual themes, is not a film noir director, several of his movies deal with crime, fate, entrapment and damnation. These include: “Les anges du péché” (1943), “Les dames du Bois de Boulogne” (1945), “Pickpocket” (1959), “Une femme douce”/“A Gentle Woman” (1969), “Le diable probablement”/“The Devil, Probably” (1977) and “L’Argent” (1983) – all of which are showing at the Aero. Bresson died on Dec. 18, 1999; he was 98.

The series runs through May 20. It is presented by the American Cinematheque in collaboration with the French Embassy, the Institut Français, and the French Film and TV Office of the French Consulate in Los Angeles. All films are in French with English subtitles.

The Aero Theatre is at 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, 90403.

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