Jean Vigo 3 Films – DCP, Blu-ray, DVD, 35 mm
In Jean Vigo’s hands, an unassuming tale of conjugal love becomes an achingly romantic reverie of desire and hope. Jean (Jean Dasté), a barge captain, marries Juliette (Dita Parlo), an innocent country girl, and the two climb aboard Jean’s boat, the L’Atalante—otherwise populated by an earthy first mate (Michel Simon) and a multitude of mangy cats—and embark on their new life together. Both a surprisingly erotic idyll and a clear-eyed meditation on love, L’Atalante, Vigo’s only feature-length work, is a film like no other.
Restored in 4K in 2017 by Gaumont in association with Cinémathèque française and The Film Foundation with the support of CNC – Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée at L’Immagine Ritrovata and L’Image Retrouvée laboratories from original first generation nitrate prints preserved by BFI, Cineteca Italiana and Cinémathèque française
So effervescent and charming that one can easily forget its importance in film history, Jean Vigo’s enormously influential portrait of prankish boarding-school students is 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.
Jean Vigo was twenty-five when he made this, his debut film, 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. The first of Vigo’s several collaborations with cinematographer Boris Kaufman (Dziga Vertov’s brother and a future Oscar winner), À propos de Nice is both a scathing and invigorating look at 1930 French culture.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
Four charming comedies from Eric Rohmer.
Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become his stylistically innovative feature debut.
Melvin Van Peebles
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
A triumph at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, the revelatory debut feature from codirectors (and twin brothers) Arie and Chuko Esiri is a heartrending and hopeful portrait of everyday human endurance in Lagos, Nigeria.