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A couple of masters

Posted at 2:03 PM on November 18, 2005 by Euan Kerr

Twin Cities film fans have a couple of interesting opportunities to sample the work of cinematic masters over the coming weeks.

The Oak Street in Minneapolis is running a month-long event called "The Gospel according to Bresson." Robert Bresson pushed the movie-making envelope for 40 years, starting in the 1950's, by using primarily amateur actors to explore the great human issues.

The event opens tonight with his 1967 exploration of teen tribulation "Mouchette," and "Au Hasard Balthazar" (1966) which follows the at times brutal existance of a donkey. The series is filled out by Wednesday and Thursday night screenings of "A Man Escaped" (1956), a portrait of a jailed French Resistance fighter, "l'Argent" (1983), which follows a 500 franc note, and "Pickpocket" (1959) which was inspired by "Crime and Punishment."

The Ang Lee retrospective, which launched at the Walker Art Center last week, shows the remarkable range of a prolific director. It's reasonable to see how the guy who made "Eat Drink Man Woman" (1994), a marvelous comedic portrait of a Chinese chef's complicated family life, could also make "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon"(2000). It's a little harder to see how he made his way from making "The Ice Storm" (1997) to "Hulk" (2003)

The Ang Lee films run through mid-December, and will culminate with a screening of his much anticipated new film "Brokeback Mountain" about two cowboys who meet and fall in love in 1960's Wyoming and Texas. Lee will talk about his work in a Regis Dialog with James Schamus.

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