The Book and the Movie: Mouchette | Georges Bernanos / Robert Bresson, 1966



Mouchette4“ You know that on any other day you’d be pulling faces already. But today your heart’s asleep. Don’t try to waken it too quickly, my dear. They’re the best moments of life. I can’t do nothing for people who’re too wide awake. There’s too much bad in them. You might just as well put your hand in a badger’s hole. When you passed by this morning, just remember, you stopped a minute in the middle of the road. Your whole face was asleep, apart from your eyes. When you came back, your eyes were asleep too. What’s the good of waking her, I thought. Hasn’t she had enough unhappiness already? ”

Georges Bernanos, Mouchette, 1966

“I want to concentrate, constantly, absolutely, on one face, the face of this little girl, to see her reactions. . . 
That is what interests me. The camera will not leave her”

Bresson explained to Jean-Luc Godard in a 1966 Cahiers du cinema 
interview that preceded the film’s release
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Mouchette, in false tones, sings the following lyrics:         > Mouchette singing      

 Espérez! Plus d’espérance! 
Trois jours, leur dit Colomb, 
En montrant le ciel immense 
le fond de l’horizon 
“Trois jours et je vous donne un monde 
Vous qui n’avez plus d’espoir” 
Sur l’immensité profonde 
Ses yeux s’ouvraient pour le voir
* Hope! Hope is dead! 
Three days, Columbus said to them, 
Pointing to the vast sky ahead 
that stretched beyond the horizon 
“Three days and I’ll give you a world 
to you who have no more hope” 
Over the vast depths 
He opened wide his eyes
by Casismir Delavigne, Trois jours de Christophe Colomb“, 1835

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                                                  “Suicide only really frightens those who are never tempted by it and never will be, for its darkness only welcomes those who are predestined to it.”                                                                                  


“And now she was thinking of her own death, with her heart gripped not by fear but by the excitement of a great discovery, the feeling that she was about to learn what she had been unable to learn from her brief experience of love. What she thought about death was childish, but what could never have touched her in the past now filled her with poignant tenderness, as sometimes a familiar face we see suddenly with the eyes of love makes us aware that it has been dearer to us than life itself for longer than we have ever realized.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Georges Bernanos, Mouchette, 1966
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Mouchette (1967)
Director: Robert Bresson 
Georges Bernanos (novel), Robert Bresson (scenario & adaptation and dialogue)
Stars: Nadine Nortier, Jean-Claude Guilbert, Marie Cardinal
Music: Jean Wiener
Robert Bresson on the set of Mouchette 

Nadine Nortier and Robert Bresson

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