The Devil, Probably (DVD)

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Like many of the late films of Robert Bresson, The Devil, Probably is, as the title suggests, a dark story of disaffected French youth in modern Paris: four disillusioned young adults who wander city streets and hole up in tiny apartments while serving witness to society's destruction of the planet. Bresson described the work as "a film about the evils of money, a source of great evil in the world whether for unnecessary armaments or the senseless pollution of the environment." It may not be the bleakest film in his canon--the honors surely belong to his final work L'Argent--but it is certainly one of his most depressing. Charles, the womanizing ringleader of the group, is haunted by an overwhelming sense of nihilism that finally envelops him. Newsreel clips of ecological disasters and atomic destruction punctuate the film and the backdrop of a busy but cold, impersonal, mercenary Paris is Bresson's least flattering portrait of the city. But it is a beautiful film, and it's clear that Bresson has invested himself in its sad desperation. Nominated for the Golden Berlin Bear and winner of Silver Berlin Bear (Special Jury Prize) at the 1977 Berlin International Film Festival.