Robert Bresson’s first feature in colour, Une Femme Douce was adapted from a short story by Fyodor Dostoevskys and transposed to 1960s Paris. The gorgeous new print has been restored 50 years after its initial release in 2K digital courtesy of Paramount and Park Circus.
The film introduced audiences to budding young actress Dominique Sanda in her very first screen role, before she would go on to appear in more than forty films (such as Steppenwolf, The Conformist, 1900 and The Inheritance). Sanda stars as Elle, a young woman with nothing and everything to lose. A meditation on shared loneliness, Une Femme Douce is a cinematic tragedy of great proportions.
“At last year’s Courtisane film festival in Ghent, I saw Robert Bresson’s Une Femme Douce. I couldn’t believe that I had not only never seen this film but that it hadn't come up in conversation on Bresson, French cinema of the ‘60s and ‘70s, cinematic gaslighting, or the impact of the male gaze.”- Cinema Rediscovered Co-curator Tara Judah
Also touring to select cinemas across the UK and streaming on MUBI in August after its UK Premiere at Cinema Rediscovered is Márta Mészáros’ still-bracingly relevant 1975 drama Adoption presented in a 4K restoration with support from the Hungarian Film Archive. Celebrated as the first Berlinale Golden Bear awarded to a woman, it is a powerful meditation on agency and womanhood in a world that waits to give permission. Now in her late 80s, she is one of few female directors alongside Agnès Varda to have reached prominence in ‘60s Europe.
Gorgeously shot in black and white, with the digital grading overseen by the original director of photography Lajos Koltai (HSC), Mészáros profound feature examines the strain of isolation and the complexities of social emancipation through the viewpoint of a quietly powerful woman.
Catch Cinema Rediscovered on Tour at any of the cinemas below.
Une Femme Douce:
Opens at ICA (London / 2 Aug) and tours in cinemas including Glasgow Film Theatre (Glasgow / 4 Aug), Tyneside Cinema (Newcastle / 4 Aug), Watershed (Bristol / 9 - 11 Aug) DCA (Dundee / 10 Aug), Hyde Park Picture House (Leeds / 11 Aug), Showroom (Sheffield / 11 Aug), Home (Manchester / 15 Aug), Broadway (Nottingham / 1 Sept), Filmhouse (Edinburgh / 11 - 12 Sept), Eden Court (Inverness / 22 - 23 Sept), Exeter Phoenix (Exeter / 25 Aug) and QFT (Belfast / 28 Oct)
Opens at DCA (Dundee / 11 Aug) and screens at Hyde Park Picture House (Leeds / 3 Sep), ICA (London / 9 Aug), Glasgow Film Theatre (Glasgow / 11 Aug), Showroom (Sheffield / 18 Aug), Filmhouse (Edinburgh / 9 Sept), Eden Court (Inverness / 29-30 Sept), Tyneside Cinema (Newcastle / 23 Sept), Home (Manchester / 3 Oct)
It also screens on curated streaming platform MUBI throughout August.
Cinema Rediscovered is a Watershed programme, with thanks to the BFI awarding funds from National Lottery.