Robert Bresson (25 September 1901 – 18 December 1999) was a French film director known for his spiritual, ascetic style. He contributed notably to the art of film and influenced the French New Wave. He is often referred to as the most highly regarded French filmmaker after Jean Renoir. As Jean-Luc Godard said, "Robert Bresson is French cinema, as Dostoevsky is the Russian novel and Mozart is the German music."
Little is known of his early life, and the year of his birth – 1901 or 1907 – varies depending on the source. He was educated at Lycée Lakanal in Sceaux, Hauts-de-Seine, close to Paris, and turned to painting after graduating. Three formative influences in his early life seem to have a mark on his films - Catholicism, art and his experiences as a prisoner of war. On his beliefs, Bresson had called himself a "Christian atheist".
1.) Bert Cardullo (2009). The Films of Robert Bresson: A Casebook. Anthem Press. p. xiii. ISBN 9781843317968. "A deeply devout man—one who paradoxically described himself as a “Christian atheist” — Bresson, in his attempt in a relatively timeless manner to address good and evil, redemption, the power of love and self-sacrifice, and other such subjects, may seem to us, and perhaps was, something of a retrogression."
2.) Robert Bresson. Cinemathèque Ontario. 1998. p. 411. ISBN 9780968296912. "Around the time of 'Lancelot du Lac' (1974), Bresson was said to have declared himself "a Christian atheist.""