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The Jean Vigo Collection (2 disc Collector's Edition) [DVD]

Jean Taris , Jean Vigo    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Jean Taris
  • Directors: Jean Vigo
  • Writers: Jean Vigo
  • Format: Black & White, PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Oct 2004
  • Run Time: 160 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009Z52C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,388 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Jean Vigo, considered to be one of the great masters of French cinema, only ever made four films owing to his premature death from tuberculosis aged just 29. Those four films are collected here. 'L'Atalante' (1934) is widely regarded as one of the most sensual love stories ever told on screen. The film tells the story of a river barge captain who marries a young country girl, Juliette (Dita Parl) and takes her with him aboard the barge, L'Atalante. His young wife soon grows restless and wishes to see Paris. The captain acquieses and takes Juliette to a cabaret in Paris where a peddler makes advances to her and arouses the husband's jealousy. When the peddler visits the ship, the captain angrily puts him off, and when his wife sneaks off to Paris he sets sail without her. It is up to Michel Simon as the drunken old first mate to make amends and find Juliette. 'Zéro de Conduite' (1933) is an anarchic film detailing the rebellion of a group of French schoolboys against the discipline and austerity of their squalid boarding school. Made a year before Vigo's final film 'L'Atalante', 'Zero de Conduite' was banned until 1945 and only recently restored. 'A Propos de Nice' (1929), Vigo's first film, is a witty and satirical documentary about the French coastal resort of Nice and its inhabitants. Finally, 'Taris' (1931) is an inventive portrait of the eponyomous French swimming champion.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
121 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stellar Collection 10 Dec 2004
By wabrit
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The French director Jean Vigo died tragically before his 30th birthday, but by then he had already directed two masterpieces in "Zero de Conduite" (a tale of schoolboy rebellion based partly on his own experiences, and very much an inspiration for Lindsay Anderson's "if..." made over 30 years later) and "L'Atalante".
The latter film in particular is still astonishing and captivating 70 years on from its first release. Vigo takes a rather trite boy-meets-girl story and, through imaginative direction and a refusal to indulge in sentimentality, renders it into something timeless. The film met with a distinctly cool reception when first shown, and it's easy to see now with the benefit of hindsight that it was far ahead of it's time.
If this collection contained just those two films it would be reason enough to make this one of the most compelling DVD releases of 2004, but the icing on the cake is the inclusion of Jean Vigo's two other films. The first is "A Propos de Nice", an excellent cinematic essay on the French seaside resort. The second is the rarely-seen "Taris", a short and playful look at a famous swimmer of the period.
In addition to the 4 films, the second disc contains a wealth of interesting bonus features, including a fascinating full-length French TV documentary that includes interviews with several of Vigo's surviving collaborators. All 4 films naturally show their age a little in terms of wear and tear, but have been superbly restored.
Plaudits (yet again) to Artificial Eye for an excellent release, well nigh essential for anyone with an interest in French cinema.
An excellent companion to this collection is the BFI book (part of their film classics series) on L'Atalante, by Marina Warner.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Complete Jean Vigo 11 July 2007
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This excellent collection of Jean Vigo's films demonstrate his exraordinary talent as a film maker. Innovative, spectacular, fascinating, humorous, angry - seemingly showing a delight in capturing the many varied and colourful aspects of humanity, whilst also containing elements of subversion and anarchy. Despite all this, Vigo is acutely aware of the possibilities of film as an art form. The short films are brilliant and have proved to be influential, however, for me, the outstanding work from this collection is his feature-length masterpiece, L'Atalante.

L'Atalante is a hauntingly beautiful film. It is exquisitely directed, with stunning photography and wonderful acting. The setting on a working barge provides a picturesque and demanding environment for this story of two romantically innocent newlyweds enjoying their love for each other and trying to adapt their relationship to the difficult confines of a barge, accompanied by two disparate characters as crew. Michel Simon as the Mate, Pere Jules, is superb. The film is full of tenderness, humour, and human warmth although the characters are so real their interaction can also be disturbing, prosaic, intriguing, petty - sometimes almost all at the same time. This is an unforgettable film, and anybody at all interested in cinema should see it.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer beauty from start to finish. 28 Jan 2008
Some reputations in cinema are over-flated. So what of Jean Vigo, whose career output consisted of three shorts and one feature?
Widely considered one of the all time great film directors, is his legend really deserved on the strength of one full length film?
Oh yes and then some! His short montages 'A Propos de Nice', and 'Taris', a beautiful portrait of champion swimmer, Jean Taris, show a delightful touch and grace of a film-maker still developing his craft.
But it was his anarchic boarding school short 'Zero de Conduit', that truly showed the world that he was a major talent to watch. Unbelievably fearless for its day (full frontal nudity and swearing), this took the youth versus authority storyline to spectacular new heights and spawned a major (and inferior) remake with Lindsay Anderson's 'If'.
However, it was 'L'Atalante' that sealed Vigo's reputation forever. It was hard to believe that Vigo was only 27 when he made it. The greatest ode to heterosexual love that cinema has ever seen (sorry Dr Zhivago), this is a work of delightful playfulness and subtle erotism. A young couple aboard a floating barge find their honeymoon besieged by fighting and fluffy cats (don't ask). The purity of Vigo's film-making is breath-taking in its purity. If you love cinema in any way, shape or form, you simply have to own this.
Not only that, but the second disc is bursting with goodies. A massive documentary on Vigo covers his life, times and films, a look at the various versions of L'Atalante, interviews with key-players, a biography, posters and more! I just hope one day all DVD's are like this.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have you seen his other one? 19 Nov 2005
There is little to be added to the many metres of critical acclaim for Vigo's films. I would say though, if you haven't seen his short film Taris, on the French Olympic swimmer, buy this dvd for that purpose and then sit back and let yourself get quite taken away by his L'Atalante
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