Sunday, August 01, 2010


The unassuming fellow above is one Martin LaSalle, and after multiple searches in more than one language on the web, I have been unable to locate anything that tells me his date of birth. The photo above is from the wonderful 1959 film "Pickpocket" a movie directed by the Frenchman Robert Bresson. Mr. LaSalle, is as far as I can tell from Uruguay, and this film was his acting debut. Actually, that is quite true, he was not an actor at all until M. Bresson plucked him from obscurity, and made him the star of this film.

Bresson was like that, he used non-actors in most of his films, and he used them once and discarded them. To him they were not actors, they were models. Actor or not M. LaSalle gives a wonderfully understated performance in a grim picture. There are a lot of overtones in the film to "Crime and Punishment" even though Bresson would claim that he did not intend any sort of the thing. LaSalle plays a man who has a compulsion to steal, and believes he is an extraordinary man. This belief, he argues, gives him a "right" to steal just to get his career started. It is an interesting film, and LaSalle does a wonderful job with a role that calls for him to be as blank as a slate.

However, M. LaSalle's career did not end with Pickpocket, he went on to make numerous films, and is still alive as far as I can tell, but for this one film, this one role, that is just amazing Martin LaSalle (???-present), you are my (348th) hero of the day.

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