Thursday, November 1, 2007

Jean Vigo (1905-1934)

Jean Vigo was the son of anarchist militant Miguel Almareyda and he also never really recovered from his father's mysterious death in jail when he was 12.

Abandoned by his mother, he was shuffled from boarding school to boarding school. Aged 23, through meetings with people involved in the movies, he began working in the cinema; he then bought a film camera and shot his first film, a short documentary, A propos de Nice (1930) and then, two years later, Taris champion de natation.

These two very personal works frightened producers and it was two years before someone showed some interest in his project of a children's movie. This would be his masterpiece, Zero de conduite (1933), a subversive despiction of an authoritarian boarding school, which directly comes from Vigo's memories and experience. The film was straight away censored for its "anti-french spirit". In despair, he nevertheless shoots L'Atalante, a romantic and realistic story of a young couple beginning their life together on a barge. His work would not be recognized before 1945. This much misuderstood film-maker is now admired today for his poetic realism.
[Adapted from IMDb]

Books from Alibris: Jean Vigo

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