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L’Atalante

Director:

1934. Subtitles. Black and white. 89 mins.


In his only feature film, director Jean Vigo takes a conventional script about a barge skipper and his naive young bride and transforms sentimental dross into shimmering gold. At once a poetic ‘travelogue’ about life on the rivers and canals of France and a rhapsodic portrait of erotic love, with the added attraction of another memorable Michel Simon grotesque, the mate, le pere Jules. A few weeks after the film’s disastrous opening, Vigo was dead, at the age of 29.

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