Reviews

The Complete Jean Vigo

5

 Jean Vigo died of tuberculosis aged 29 in 1934, with three shorts and one feature to his name. Cinephiles have deified him since and this two-disc set provides comprehensive evidence it isn't just down to dewey-eyed pity over his tragically short life. The French filmmaker's crowning glory was L'Atalante, a work of magical, playful lightness and simultaneous depth in which a young couple's honeymoon on a barge sees them assailed by conflict (and cats). In it, Vigo's ability to pair generous realism with indelible poignancy blossomed: you won't forget the delicate, weeping images that accompany the lovers' parting. Also included here is the anarchic-surrealist boarding-school short Zero De Conduite and two documentaries, satirical travelogue A Propos De Nice and Taris, a beautiful portrait of champion swimmer Jean Taris. In all of them, Vigo found poetry in naturalism, pairing an acute social consciousness with an innate cinematic sensibility without compromising either. If you love cinema, you have to own this.

Film Details

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  • UK Theatrical Release Date: January 1st 2005

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