1971: Bresson brings Dostoyevskian lovers together on the Pont Neuf bridge


Cannes Classics showcases one of Robert Bresson‘s least-known films with Four Nights of a Dreamer, loosely adapted from Dostoevsky’s White Nights and presented by Nathanaël Karmitz in a restored version brought to the screen by MK2.

One night, Jacques stops young stranger Marthe from committing suicide on the Pont Neuf bridge, and tells her to meet him at the same place the next day. Over the next four nights, they meet and share their deepest secrets. Jacques is falling in love with her, but does Marthe feel the same?

The melancholic, sensual, hypnotic Four Nights of a Dreamer was Bresson’s second colour film. Released two years after A Gentle Woman, it too was inspired by a Dostoevsky short story, with film columnist Claude Mauriac noting that “visually speaking, this nighttime interlude is Robert Bresson’s most gorgeous work, leaving aside his black-and-white masterpieces. This is a film in colour: the colours of the night”.

These colours (and sounds) of the night were captured by the magnificent Pierre Lhomme, in a film that sees Robert Bresson ramp up the atmosphere to showcase his characters’ torments: Jacques’ love-sick daydreaming, and Marthe’s romantic disillusionment. Two lost souls, alone in the big city.

To this day, Four Nights of a Dreamer remains little-known, and is brought to the Festival de Cannes where Bresson had triumphed with A Man Escaped (Best Director Award, 1957), The Trial of Joan of Arc (Jury Prize, 1962) and L’Argent (Grand Prix du Cinéma de Création, 1983).

Presented by mk2. Restored in 4K in 2024 by mk2 Films, with the support of the CNC, using negative film and magnetic soundtrack at Eclair Classics. Restoration and colour grading overseen by Mylène Bresson. Sound restored by L.E DIAPASON. Released in cinemas across France by mk2.Alt and Carlotta in the first quarter of 2025. International sales: mk2 films.
Attended by Nathanaël Karmitz, chairman of the mk2 group’s board.