Journal d'un curé de campagne (1951)

Claude LayduNicole LadmiralJean RiveyreAdrien Borel
Robert Bresson


Journal d'un curé de campagne (1951) is a French movie. Robert Bresson has directed this movie. Claude Laydu,Nicole Ladmiral,Jean Riveyre,Adrien Borel are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1951. Journal d'un curé de campagne (1951) is considered one of the best Drama movie in India and around the world.

In Ambricourt, an idealistic young Priest (Claude Laydu) arrives to be the local parish priest. He attempts to live a Christ-like life, but his actions are misunderstood. The community of the small town does not accept him, and although having a serious disease in the stomach, the inexperienced and frail priest tries to help the dwellers, and has a situation with the wealthy family of the location.

Journal d'un curé de campagne (1951) Reviews

  • A rewarding experience


    Journal d'un cure de Campagne is about a young priest who, whilst suffering from an illness, is assigned to a new parish in a French country village. The story is told by the priests recounting of his experiences in his diary. This itself is a powerful narrative device, as we not only understand the experiences of the protagonist, but also how he reflects upon them with hindsight, relating his observations to faith and human nature. As he carries out his duties in his new parish though, he is treated with animosity and hatred by many of the villiagers, because they see him as an unwanted intrusion into their lives. As he becomes estranged, and to an extend outcast by the townspeople, he increasingly relies on his faith for strength and comfort, however even this begins to fade as he witnesses the townspeople purvey sinful and malicous behaviour, damaging his faith in human nature. The films of Robert Bresson, although wonderful, can at times seem austere almost to the point of being drained of any emotion. Before passing judgement though, it is important to understand his aims and understanding of film making. Bresson believed that the theatrical performing of actors had no place in cinema, and so typically cast non-actors for his films. The reason for his desire to suppress performing, was to avoid the melodramatic histrionics common with conventional acting as he believed it shortchanges the complexities of human emotion that in real life are much more subtle and not always on the surface. A large part of who we are he believed, is determined by experience, circumstance and environment. These elements affect the way we 'perform' and obscure who we are at the core essence of our being. Bresson was much more concerned with this person, whom we are when all our affectations are removed and we are laid bare. In Diary of a Country Priest, Bresson had Claude Laydu repeat scenes many times in order so that he would rid himself of all natural desire to perform. This suppressed emotion re-introduces the intricately nuanced expression, replacing the scenes with a delicate and contemplative lilt. Like Ozu, another master of character expression and portrayal, Bresson proves that by adopting this method in conjunction with his wonderful compositions, it forces the viewer to replace the lack of gratuitous emotion with their own feelings, resulting in moments of genuine pathos and emotion.

  • Seraphita


    Bresson's film has an intensity and mysterious beauty that are almost imponderable. And one can appreciate it without being religious oneself. So much has been written about it, about the curé's almost "Passion of Joan of Arc" face of sufferance that nearly out-suffers that of Falconetti in Dreyer's masterpiece. But I want to point out in this brief reflection only one scene, my favorite, though perhaps a minor key reflection of many even nobler and greater scenes in this movie. It lasts only three minutes and comes about an hour and twenty minutes into the movie. The priest has been making a round of visits and collapses on a county road. He awakens. He is by a cow barn and is being aided by the young girl Seraphita, who in earlier scenes has gratuitously mocked him and played mean little tricks. She found him, she says, when bringing the cows in. She washes his face with pond water. He had vomited, she said, and looked like he had been eating blackberries. (He doesn't yet know that he is suffering from an advanced case of stomach cancer.) Seraphita is generous in her childlike comforting and apologies. "I've said so many awful things about you." Bresson intends her, by gesture and by name, to be the Veronica who came to the assistance of Jesus on his way to the cross, wiping his face of sweat and blood. Veronica's real name was Seraphia. This young girl is Seraphita, the angel-seraph. "Let me take you as far as the road." They rise, she takes his hand. In her other hand she carries a lantern, lighting their way. As they walk forward, the camera tracks backward and creates some haunting moments of pure poetry. Grunenwald's score suggests the liturgical strains of "Parsifal". The curé and Seraphita have their heads slightly bowed. They are expressionless. They are as one. It is magnificent and sublime. I can think of no other words. A few seconds and the scene is over. It devastates me as no other scene in this miraculous movie does.

  • The kind of integrity and faith so strong and real, it frightens even the church


    A young priest has been assigned his first parish in a village somewhere in the North of France. Right from the first, essential opening shot in beautiful black and white, we instinctively get a sense of his isolation from any other human being. As the final credits rolled by, I don't know why I had the impulse to restart the DVD, and I watched the first 5 minutes of the movie again, realising just how much of a harbinger of extreme loneliness the opening frames are. Diary of a Country Priest is in good part about loneliness - the extreme physical, emotional and intellectual isolation of those who embark on an earnest mission, with an inability to compromise and a sincerity (with its resulting emotional vulnerability) which both frightens and repulses those who aren't ready to receive it. I was especially thankful to Bresson for having left us with a film about a priest which didn't involve his tiresome sexual issues in any shape or form - what a refreshing change! In the role of the young parish priest of Ambricourt, young Claude Laydu was in his debut role here - though he very occasionally shows his inexperience as an actor, he is nonetheless remarkable in the title role, and his sensitive, silently suffering, candid boyish face will remain with me for quite a while. It's extraordinary that such a movie, so completely devoid of any mass appeal or commercial potential, should have found someone willing to fund it. This kind of thing restores one's faith in the integrity and vision of certain cinematic enterprises.

  • Most Unique Film


    This story was very influential and moving in many ways, seeing the afflictions of the Priest and the way that he deals with the animosity of his town are truly interesting. It depicts, very well, the life of a young man (who appears very boyish throughout the entirety of the film) not just living as a Priest, but also living as a sort of outcast -- it shows very well what the inter-workings of this Priest's, this outcast's brain is like, and it shows the human emotionality very well. From the beginning to the end of the film I was fascinated with the main character, and his goals and his aims, his beliefs and his passionate inclination to helping others -- rarely do you see such great work done in putting the spotlight on the character. Bresson truly shows himself to be a master of character depiction. Anyone who has ever experienced awkward social circumstances or has ever felt alienated can immediately relate to the Father. I found the dialogue in this film to be at times absolutely shocking & amazing, and the actors to be filled with a lot of feeling; there are parts in this film that I will remember forever because of the fabulous writing and acting. You rarely see a film with as much poignant & sharp character interaction as this; I found myself always anticipating the next meeting that the Father would have with certain characters, always anticipating more of the amazing dialogue. For those who are interested in religion, this film really hits the nail on the head. I feel that, although it is very much inclined towards Christianity and Christian thought, it was in no way overbearing and nor would it take away from the film for a non-Christian. In fact, what makes the dialogue so sharp is the debates and self-doubt that we see the Priest have from time to time. Overall, a terrific film and study of social relationships.

  • Excellent


    This must be one of the most touching movies I have seen in my life. I would rank it high up there with movies like The Bicycle Thief. It depicts human frailty at its best (and consequently, worst) in a very pure and painfully real light. I think this this is definitely a movie that cannot be remade, the priest's expressions and anxiety are too perfect to be replaced. I only wish I watched a good copy (mine skipped scenes and cut dialogues). Regardless, this movie is definitely an all-time best, and deals with such personal issues at such a personal level that it can never age. It touches the soul straight on and literally takes one's breath away.

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