Interviewer:... do you, as Renoir said, let the unforeseen come into a shot?
Bresson: Renoir said a lot of things that weren't true, but some of it is what I said. But he used actors. He tried to give the impression that he was using them, not as actors who were acting, but as actors who weren't acting.
I'm really not sure what that is all about because an actor can't go back, can't be natural. He just can't. (interview)
Bresson is perhaps the only man in the cinema to have achieved the perfect fusion of the finished work with a concept theoretically formulated beforehand. I know of no other artist as consistent as he is in this respect. His guiding principle was the elimination of what is known as expressiveness, in the sense that he wanted to do away with the frontier between the image and actual life; that is, to render life itself graphic and expressive. No special feeding in of material, nothing laboured, nothing that smacks of deliberate generalisation. - Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time (taken from TSPDT)
Robert Bresson is French cinema, as Dostoevsky is the Russian novel and Mozart is the German music. - Jean-Luc Godard
If film — not to be confused with star vehicles or videos — is currently in the process of disappearing, it seems more than likely that the work of Robert Bresson will disappear as well. If you want to get some idea of what the world might lose you should hurry off to Facets Multimedia and take a good, hard look at some of the last traces of an art that, appropriately enough, is as apocalyptic as any modern work I can think of. Chances are, 20 years from now you’ll be grateful for having had a chance to pay your final respects. - Jonathan Rosenbaum