- Jean Vigo
- Jean Daste, Dita Parlo
Even among cinema’s greatest legends, Jean Vigo stands alone. The son of a notorious anarchist, Vigo had a brief but brilliant career making poetic, lightly surrealist films before his life was cut tragically short by tuberculosis at age twenty-nine. Like the daring early works of his contemporaries Jean Cocteau and Luis Buñuel, Vigo’s films refused to play by the rules. This trio of digitally restored shorts illustrates just that.
- À propos de Nice (1930, 23 mins) is a silent cinematic poem that reveals, through a thrilling and ironic use of montage, the economic reality hidden behind the facade of the Mediterranean resort town of Nice.
- Taris (1931, 9 mins) is an inventive short portrait of a swimming champion.
- Zero for Conduct (1933, 44 mins) is Vigo’s enormously influential portrait of prankish boarding-school students, and one of cinema’s great acts of rebellion. Based on the director’s own experiences as a youth, Zéro de conduite presents childhood as a time of unfettered imagination and brazen rule-flouting. It’s a sweet-natured vision of sabotage made vivid by dynamic visual experiments—including the famous, blissful slow-motion pillow fight. Banned in France until 1945, the film later served as a model for Lindsay Anderson’s attack on the Establishment in the film If….