John Conomos

Leftquote A book is a mirror; if an ape looks into it, an apostle is hardly likely to look out. Rightquote
Cinema of Solitude, 2001
Radio show, 28' 12"

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Cinema of Solitude

(listen to one-minute excerpt on SoundCloud)

French film-maker, Robert Bresson died in December, 1999 at the age of 92. Although he left behind only twenty hours of screen time, Bresson created one of the most distinctive bodies of work in world cinema. An enigmatic, solitary presence who became a figure of awe and unquestioning reverence, Bresson influenced diverse cinema-world figures like Jean-Luc Godard, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Paul Schrader, Eric Rohmer and Aki Kaurismaki. 

Bresson believed in ‘cinematography’, a relentlessly precise expression of human life stripped of traditional cinema’s reliance on theatre, psychology, background music or realism as detailed in his only book, the aphoristic Notes on the Cinematographer (1975).

In this feature, writer and film-maker John Conomos essays Robert Bresson’s ‘magisterial cinema’ which had a profound impact on him as a young film-goer. Composer Robert Lloyd’s score evokes the subtle rhythms and use of space and silence in Bresson’s films.

Cinema of Solitude (as well as dismantling some of the myths surrounding Bresson) is a lyrical, personal tribute to an uncompromising and unique artist who embarked ‘on a voyage of discovery to an unknown planet’. 

Writer: John Conomos
Original music: Robert Lloyd
Readings by Chris Haywood, Susan Lyons and Vanessa Downing.
Sound engineer: Andrei Shabunov
Producer: Brent Clough  

This radiophonic essay/performance work was commissioned by the Features and Documentaries Unit of ABC Radio National, and first broadcast on Radio Eye, ABC Radio National

This work is made available for the purposes of critical review, private audition and educational use only, and may not to be sold, broadcast or made available for MP3 download without permission from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

© ABC Radio 2001
© John Conomos 2001.