Une femme douce by Robert Bresson: Hamlet or Anti- Cinematography

                                                                                           Gaëlle Ginestet

 

Abstract

In Une femme douce (1969), Robert Bresson shows his main characters attending a performance of Shakespeare's Hamlet. He shoots the long scene of the duel with Laertes and Hamlet's death. The scene is purposely poorly acted and the female character criticizes it, noticing that the director omitted the passage in which Hamlet gives the players advice. The choice of including a scene from Hamlet, therefore, seems to owe mainly to a didactic purpose. Though echoes of Hamlet can be found in the diegesis or the characters of the film, the function of Shakespeare's play is less to provide a mise-en-abyme for the story of Une femme douce than to illustrate the director's aesthetic positions. This unique use of a Shakespeare play was, indeed, guided by Bresson's idiosyncratic concept of "cinematography".

 

This article was first published in Shakespeare on Screen: Hamlet. Ed. Sarah Hatchuel & Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin. Publications des Universités de Rouen et du Havre, 2011. 291-308 <http://purh.univ-rouen.fr/node/176>. It is reproduced here as a clickable PDF document with kind permission from the PURH.

                        

 

 


How to Cite

Ginestet, Gaëlle. "Une femme douce by Robert Bresson: Hamlet or Anti-Cinematography." In Shakespeare on Screen in Francophonia (2010-). Ed. Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin and Patricia Dorval. Montpellier (France), University Montpellier III, Institut de Recherche sur la Renaissance, l’Âge Classique et les Lumières (IRCL): 2012. URL: http://shakscreen.org/analysis/analysis_anticinematography/. Originally published in Shakespeare on Screen: Hamlet. Ed. Sarah Hatchuel & Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin. Publications des Universités de Rouen et du Havre, 2011. 291-308.

Contributed by Gaëlle GINESTET

<< back to top >>