The social 'exterior' and the already-written (the pre-text) of Bressonian films has always consisted of that, but their overdeter­ mination", up until Au Hasard Balthazar, made the ideologemes3 anchored in their chain insistent, producing ideological effects of writing (ecriture) which became less apparent in the later films, and which have disappeared altogether in Quatre Nuits d'un reveur. The insistence of these effects was produced by the fact that:

1 the fictive milieu in which the intrigue took place was directly oppressive, full of threats of aggression and rape. Heroes and heroines could detach themselves from it fictively and abstract themselves from it ideologically through their roles as the shifters" (embrayeurs) of the fiction (changing place, rushing forward in time); this role was overdetermined by conduct either in excess or in default in relation to the desire" of the others and of their norms. This surplus element indicated an otherness all the more radical in that its inscription had only a fictional consistency and made the ideological effects of this otherness insistent only in the filmic articulation of the fiction (suturing" looks, voices and gestures which were fetishized as 'more-real' [plus-de-ree~ in images which systematically lacked the realistic appearance of classical cinema, etc.);

2 the fictive milieu, whether or not it contained denoted ele­ ments of the social 'exterior' of the subject" Bresson, was invariably inscribed in a referential position with regard to the hero of the fiction: that is, in the relationship of the fictive couple constituted by the hero or heroine and the others, it

was exclusively oppressive, aggressive, transgressive in the enclosed field of the ideological and erotic relations which directly constitute the plot; in the field, that is to say, of the idealist inscription of the internal contradictions in petit-bour­ geois ideology (sexllove, powerllove; power =erotic relations, economic relations = erotic relations, etc.). Even in Une Femme douce, the characters' economic relations are nothing but the description - and a very relevant one for psychoan­ alysis - of a 'neurotic'· erotic relationship.