http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/bresson.htm
France 1959

 
Robert Bresson’s masterful investigation of crime and redemption tells the story of the young, arrogant Michel (Martin LaSalle), who spends his days learning the art of picking pockets in the streets, subway cars, and train stations of Paris. As Michel grows bolder and more adept, so too grows his fear that his luck is about to run out. But despite the pleadings of his sick mother and the lovely Jeanne to return to the world of the honorable, he is consumed by his compulsion to steal. Tautly choreographed and stylistically rigorous, Pickpocket reveals Bresson at his enigmatic, virtuosic best.

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 1959

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MK2 (3 Films de Robert Bresson) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Gary Tooze and Henrik Sylow for the Screen Caps!

(Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. MK2 (3 Films de Robert Bresson) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Criterion Collection - Spine # 314

Region 1 - NTSC

MK2

Region 2 - PAL

Artificial Eye
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:15:57 1:12:35 (4% PAL speedup) 1:12:35 (4% PAL speedup)
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.84 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.55 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

MK2 (3 Films de Robert Bresson)

 

Bitrate:

 

MK2 (3 Films de Robert Bresson)

 

Bitrate:

 

Artificial Eye

 

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital French 2.0 Dolby Digital French

2.0 Dolby Digital French

Subtitles English, None English, German, Spanish, Italian, None English, German, Spanish, Italian, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by film scholar James Quandt
• Video introduction by writer-director Paul Schrader (14:46)
• The Models of “Pickpocket,” a 2003 documentary by filmmaker Babette Mangolte, featuring actors from the film (52:08)
• A 1960 interview with Bresson, from the French tele­vision program Cinépanorama (6:27)
• Q&A on Pickpocket, with actress Marika Green and filmmakers Paul Vecchiali and Jean-Pierre Améris fielding questions at a 2000 screening of the film
• Footage of sleight-of-hand artist and Pickpocket consultant Kassagi, from a 1962 episode of the French television show La piste aux étoiles (11:34)
• Original theatrical trailer
• Liner notes essay by novelist and culture critic Gary Indiana

DVD Release Date: November 8th, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 17

Release Information:
Studio: MK2

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Robert Bresson (6:27)
• The Models of Pickpocket (52:14)
• - Pierre Leymarie (13:27)
• - Marika Green (12:27)
• - Martin Lassalle (26:10)
• Auteur de Pickpocket (12:57) - Jean-Pierre Améris, Marika Green, Paul Vecchiali
• Kassagi (11:34)
• Trailer (2:32)

DVD Release Date: March 23rd, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 17

Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Robert Bresson (6:27) - Cinépanorama (1960)
• The Models of Pickpocket (52:14)
• - Pierre Leymarie (13:27)
• - Marika Green (12:27)
• - Martin Lassalle (26:10)
• Auteur de Pickpocket (12:57) - Jean-Pierre Améris, Marika Green, Paul Vecchiali
• Kassagi (11:34) - of
• Trailer (2:32)
 

DVD Release Date: April 25, 2005
Double Amarey

Chapters 17

 

 

 

Comments ADDITION: Criterion - October 05': At times we debate whether a Criterion image is actually sharper or simply has the appearance of being sharper by manipulation of contrast and saturation levels. In this particular case I actually do think it is sharper - contrast level adjustment can make black lines blacker and lighter shades lighter but it cannot really make hazier images more detailed. The Criterion is more detailed than both of MK2 and the Artificial Eye. The Criterion has some contrast fluctuation and has some visible film grain (or digital noise).

The complaint with the Criterion will be their own framing of Bresson's image. There appears to be haphazard and inconsistent cropping of the image mostly on the top and right edge. For years I have stated that this MUST be an occurrence of the Criterion digitization/restoration process but I have no conclusive evidence to support my theory. It happens on virtually all Criterion DVDs that we compare - it is probably a combination of zooming and slight pan + scanning. Whether you are overly offended by this matting is a personal decision.

The Criterion removable subtitles are slightly superior - a little more detailed in a few spots and a less intrusive (smaller), yet still have a perfectly visible font. 

The extras; a few of the extras on the other release are duplicated on the Criterion - The Models of Pickpocket, the Bresson Interview, a trailer and the Kassagi performance. In addition to that the Criterion has a 15 minute Paul Schrader introduction (excellent!!!), a Q&A on Pickpocket, liner notes and the James Quant commentary that I felt was rather stuffed - he was talking very fast. It was great information, for the most part, but he really seemed rushed.

Bottom line: So if this were a foot race Criterion have come from behind with the later release and passed both of their competitors. If you can live with the often very minor cropping of the image then the Criterion is definitely the definitive release of this masterpiece film. 

****

It appears as though both editions are exact. The Artificial Eye is a licensed port of the MK2 and has the same degree of sharpness, original audio, subtitle options, extra features and the same menus, except the AE are in English.

The only real difference (albeit minute) that we could find are that in the subtitles, where the Mk2 appears a few frames later than on Artificial Eye. Note the difference between them in Image #1. Both before Michel points and after his finger is out of the image, the Artificial Eye has no subtitles on in that specific scene.

The extras are the same and begins with an interview of Bresson from French TV (Cinépanorama 1960) where Bressons answers questions towards his techniques and the film itself. Following this comes three interviews with the three main actors, recorded in 2003, then a Q&A from 2000 with Ameris, Green and director Paul Vecchiali, and finally a demonstration of pickpocketing by Kassagi from the TV-show "La Piste aux Ètoiles" from 1962. Simply superb additional material.

 - Henrik Sylow

 

 


Recommended Reading for Robert Bresson fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 

Check out more in "The Library"





DVD Menus

 

Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC

 



(MK2 (3 Films de Robert Bresson) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MK2 (3 Films de Robert Bresson) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)
English subtitle sample
Note different frame

 

 


(Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MK2 (3 Films de Robert Bresson) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MK2 (3 Films de Robert Bresson) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MK2 (3 Films de Robert Bresson) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

Hit Counter

Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion

Sound:

-

Extras: Criterion
Menu: Criterion

Recommended Reading for Robert Bresson fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 

Check out more in "The Library"


 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Criterion Collection - Spine # 314

Region 1 - NTSC

MK2

Region 2 - PAL

Artificial Eye
Region 2 - PAL

 




 

 

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