First Bresson film for me.
It is unsettling to watch this film after years of watching "movies."
Pickpocket felt like an anti-movie and after delving into reviews and a summary of Bresson style it reinforces that reading.
This fact makes this a very difficult movie to watch.
Non-actors here are non-acting. There is a plot but motivations are never mentioned. We just get a look at this actions and their consequences. Pacing is off, camera shots linger too much on doors and hallways. Yet, you still watch...
Bresson is showing you what he wants, he is filming questions not answers, he is confronting you with them, letting you fill in for the lack of emotion. (As I have read, this is his method, I shall see when I start watching his other films.) This works very well and the movie lingers in your head...
There also is some fascinating camera work dealing with the act of pickpocketing. The highlight of this aspect is a sequence in a train station that is truly outstanding work and creates tension without using a note of music.
Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver's screenwriter) lends a very fascinating break down of how this movie works, how Bresson works it. (Look for "Paul Schrader's Pickpocket Intro" on the Internet and you will find it, it was filmed for Criterion's release of the picture)
Schrader cites this movie as a direct influence on him before writing Taxi Driver and you can clearly see how much he borrows towards the creation of Travis Bickle.
I can also clearly see how Bresson's style influences the pacing on Wong Kar Wai's films wich was an added bonus while watching this.