Waiting for Exam Results: Movie Time – A Man Escaped

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Between exams is movie time.

I watch movies. I listen to movie podcasts. My taste in movies is wide ranging. I enjoy frivolous movies like Good Burger and Pacific Rim. I enjoy heavy movies like Sunset Boulevard and Wild Strawberries.

This week I saw Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped from 1956. The plot of the movie is in the title. Read Roger Ebert’s review about why this is an awesome movie.

The movie is sparse and boring compared to modern movies. Nothing flamboyantly dramatic. No onscreen violence. Simple dialogue and a straight forward plot force you to identify with the protagonist Fontaine.

Everyone lives a life like Fontaine, albeit with lower stakes. We are all in our own prison of habits and complacency.

Exams are such a struggle. As with all good movies, this movie shows us truth. The truth about passing exams. Here’s what I saw.

  1. Work on your goals every day.
  2. Use failure as a teacher.
  3. Make meticulous preparations for each obstacle you will face.
  4. Understand that you will find obstacles you did not prepare for.
  5. Make the hard decisions about who to trust.
  6. You may escape this exam, but there is one more waiting for you.

Nothing that you haven’t heard before, but seeing the process in narrative form reinforces the lessons. Stories are easier to remember than platitudes.

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