Filmmakers all have their peculiar fixations, some of which are obvious: Wes Anderson is obsessed with symmetry; David Lynch with industrial machinery; and Quentin Tarantino with cartoonish violence. And as this poignant visual essay reveals, French New Wave filmmaker Robert Bresson, who died in 1999, was particularly fond of filming hands.
The four-minute supercut, created for the Criterion Collection by Korean filmmaker Kogonada, compiles shots from Bresson’s 13 films that focus on hands touching things (guns, money, radios, axes) and hands touching people (laps, shoulders, necks). Detached from their characters’ faces and motivations, they put the focus purely on the tactile side of Bresson’s world. Watching it might give you a weirdly heightened awareness of your own hands and how much you rely on them.