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Four Nights of a Dreamer Reviews

This fascinating feature by master director Bresson adapts Dostoyevsky's story "White Nights" and puts it in Paris in the modern age. Jacques (Des Forets) is a young artist living a life of daydreams who meets Marthe (Weingarten) on a bridge one night while she is contemplating suicide. They talk and arrange to meet there the next night. They speak of their lives--he of his painting and his fantasies, she of the man she loves and his leaving her with the promise to meet her on the bridge one year later. It is because he hasn't kept the rendezvous that she has thought to kill herself. Jacques falls in love with the enigmatic woman, walking around Paris with a tape recorder against his heart that just plays a recording of him repeating her name. For four nights they meet on the bridge and talk, but on the last night the missing lover returns. Bresson's spare, totally restrained style has seldom been used to such effect. With its highly deliberate editing and elegant use of color, the film emerges a delicate if sad paean to young love. Mystical and erotic but also dispassionate, FOUR NIGHTS OF A DREAMER is an important film by one of the cinema's most important figures. It makes for fascinating comparison with Visconti's memorable WHITE NIGHTS, an earlier adaptation of the same story.