The Devil Probably

The Devil Probably


"Constructed as a flashback from news reports of a young man’s suspicious suicide, Robert Bresson’s splenetic 1977 drama puts the post-1968 world on trial and judges it unliveable. Charles (Antoine Monnier), a quietly imperious sensualist of blazing intelligence, lives idly in a bare garret and does little but brazenly chase women. Essaying the gamut of modern pursuits – politics, religion, education, drugs, psychoanalysis – he finds them all pointless, and his despair is deepened by atrocious documentary footage of dire pollution that he watches at the home of the writer and environmentalist Michel (Henri de Maublanc), whose girlfriend he steals. Bresson’s chilling visions of daily life – including a brilliant sequence aboard a bus that depicts the mechanical world as a horror – suggest its hostility to the passions of youth. The film, however, offers a near-parody of the tamped-down spiritual universe of Bresson’s earlier work: these children of the revolution tremble with uncertainty, and their loose gestures and shambling ways conflict with his precise images. Both the world and Bresson’s cinema are in disarray, and the signs of his inner conflict are deeply troubling and tremendously moving." – Richard BrodyThe New Yorker

"Even though Bresson has painted a dark picture of wasted youth and beauty, one comes out of the film with a sense of exultation. When a civilization can produce a work of art as perfectly achieved as this, it is hard to believe that there is no hope for it". – Richard Roud

Technical Specs

Director: Robert Bresson
Year: 1977
Country: France
Language: French
Duration: 95 min
Colour: Colour
Certificate: 18
Alternate Title: Le Diable Probablement