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Criterion Collection: The Complete Jean Vigo [Blu-ray] [1934] [US Import]

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Image/Sphe
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005152CC8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,515 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
At present this desirable BOX SET is only available on BLU RAY in the States. But therein lies a problem for UK and European buyers…

The US issue is REGION-A LOCKED - so it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK Blu Ray players unless they're chipped to play ‘all’ regions (which the vast majority aren't). Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the ‘DVD’ front – that won’t help.

Until such time as “The Complete Jean Vigo” is given a Region B/C release by someone – check your player has the capacity to play REGION A – before you buy the Criterion issue…
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By Mario on 5 Sept. 2011
Format: DVD
All magical and tragic because of the context. L'Atalante is one of the indisputably great films:comic,coarse,beautiful; of its time but universal; surprising for any one not French. Perhaps I mean the English English. It's a place we go in our holiday dreams. Zero de Conduite is a 40 minute film - why not make more of that length. Complete in itself and seemingly a precursor of all those films (Les Diaboliques, 400 Coups etc.) which show French schools at universally horrible and teachers as brutal prison officers. Nothing like that in Britain till the 60s (If... is a copy in some respects) and they seem unfair given all the Chipses, Crocker-Harrisses and Colin Wellands peopling our schools, trying hard. A Propos de Nice is startling subversion of travelogues and the 'bourgeois' with a couple of startling images of back street poverty. Taris is a weird 10 minute love affair with a famous French swimmer of the time mainly swimming underwater. Essential, all in all - nothing wasted.
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Format: DVD
"The Complete Jean Vigo," consists of three short, early silent works of the French filmmaker, "A propos de Nice,""Taris," and "Zero de conduite," along with "L'Atalante," (1930),thankfully a talkie, a romantic drama that is considered one of the lesser known glories of early French cinema, which is a shame, as it is a masterpiece.

"A propos de Nice" is a rhythmic view of life in that bustling tourist city; it occasionally rises to unexpected absurd heights. "Taris" is a portrait of a swimming champion. "Zero de conduite" is an inventive, charming tale of rebellious boarding school students, a topic on which Vigo can be presumed to know a lot: It has been endlessly influential to other film makers world wide over the years.

"L'Atalante"is in black and white, runs a tight 89 minutes, and is the greatest achievement of Vigo, a too-little known but greatly respected and influential film maker, who died of tuberculosis, shortly after its completion, at the shockingly young age of 29. The film is now generally available only on this disk that constitutes the entire oeuvre of the director's short, turbulent life.

Vigo's master work opens as Juliette, a young girl who has never set foot outside her village, marries Jean, mate on a French river barge named "L'Atalante," and sets up housekeeping aboard. Also aboard are a cabin boy, and the colorful old sailor Pere Jules, played by the inimitable Michel Simon (Criterion Collection: Port of Shadows [DVD] [1938] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC],Train The [DVD] [1964]).
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I love Jean Vigo and I was happy when I found your "Complete Jean Vigo [Blu-ray] [1934]". Unfortunatly The disk is not compatible with my area code (I live in Sicily). So now I have a useless and unexploitable "treasury" which cost me some money. It is cruel. Is it possible to have a replacement with a compatible version ? Regards.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews
67 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars L'Atalante: the most beautiful movie ever made 28 May 2011
By W. N. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
Sight unseen.... the Blu-ray DVD has not yet been released. I have however seen all of these films, and own l'Atalante on DVD--which improved the quality of this very old movie. In Blu-ray it will probably be further improved, but I cannot speak to that.
For me there is no movie more romantic and heartfelt than L'Atalante. It's story is simple enough, a young couple is married in a small town and then begins married life on Seine River barge heading for Paris. The deck hand is Michel Simon, (Boudu Saved From Drowning -Jean Renoir) in another funny role. They arrive in Paris, complications ensue... L'Atalante inspired the French New Wave, especially Francois Truffaut, Claude Lelouch and Jacques Rivette. It's one of the great treasures.

Zero de Conduite - is about a rebellion in a boarding school and established that genre. Luis Bunuel's Los Olvidados and Truffaut's the 400 Blows, quote directly from it.

A Propos de Nice and Taris are a City Film and a study of a swimming champion. They will seem very dated, but if you love movies, city films-films about cities-are interesting, both historically, and for the film techniques they used. The qualities of these short movies led directly to Vigo being allowed to make his two feature films.

I can't say enough about Jean Vigo and especially L'Atalante and Zero de Conduit.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect set 29 Aug. 2011
By Lee Roy Tree - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Jean Vigo is one of the best directors you might not have heard of until recently. This set completely does his work justice. I have the dvd version, and the transfers are absolutely gorgeous. There are informative commentaries, in depth episodes, an interview with Truffaut and Rohmer about the man and his work (and the short amount of time he had to do it), and a neat little tribute from the director Michael Gondry. This set is essential to any lover of cinema, and its storied beginnings. Get it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Criterion Release of Jean Vigo's Complete Works! 23 July 2013
By Frederick Baptist - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
It is truly amazing what Criterion has done with the main course of this blu ray release which has been massacred by censors and clueless distributors so many times from the very beginning of its release. I'm talking of course about "L'Atalante" which is the jewel in the crown here and is sadly the last work of its director Vigo before his early death from consumption. When I watched this blu ray release I had the impression I was back in time watching in the old movie theatres where you would get a cartoon or two, a newsreel or two and then the main course. Here we get the 23 minute silent "documentary" of Nice in " Propos De Nice" to start us off followed by another 9 minute documentary about a top French swimmer in "Taris" and then a comedy of sorts which in the day was actually considered scandalous by the French public in the 44 minute "Zero de Conduite" which showed to me the quaint sense of humour of Vigo especially with the midget school principal; the scene where he struggles to put his hat on the ledge where a mirror is strategically placed to give the optical illusion that he was much taller is priceless! Without any words Vigo tells us exactly the character of the principal and how he sees himself as being more substantial/important than he really is or at least is perceived by everybody else.

While so far we have fairly entertaining fare for me at least "L'Atalante" is the masterpiece here. I have watched it 3 times already and I can't wait to watch it again which to me spells classic film in any language. I find myself surprised at the way this otherwise very simple story of newly weds embarking both figuratively and literally on their journey of marriage and some of the usual problems that such couples encounter albeit compressed in 87 minutes what in real life takes months or even years is told by Vigo. His at least to me strange choice of camera angles and framing of shots gave me the distinct impression that he was purposely trying to surprise me at every turn. It was as if Vigo knew what I was expecting to see and so he deliberately did things differently just to spite me; the result was not anger on my part but pleasant surprise that makes me want to watch this over and over again just to make sure that I actually saw what I thought I saw.

I can count on one hand how many films make me want to watch them over and over again and now I can count "L'Atalante" among these. As mentioned at the start, this film was subject to many indignities being so far ahead of its time that this restored version in blu ray appears to be the best that can currently be done unless someone miraculously discovers a better master print somewhere. Imperfections abound but not at least for me to be too distracting and I have seen a lot worse such as the very poor treatment by Kino of "Les Vampires" for example and so while the picture quality isn't perfect it isn't that bad either. The sound quality is also quite good and as is usually the case with the magnificent Criterion the special features are indeed special with great documentaries and interviews about the film.

This is the first time I've seen Michel Simon and his performance as Pere Jules must rank among the greatest acting of all time and for me ranks as highly as Walter Huston's in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre"; it is that good. It is his character that becomes the unlikely hero throughout the film that suggests whether they like it or not the youth still depend upon the experience of their elders to get them through. This is a highly enjoyable film that deserves to be in any film buff's video library and although not perfect is still a very worthy Criterion blu ray release.

Highly recommended!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Package 8 Jan. 2013
By David Saltaire - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first saw these films on a VHS transfer from un-restored reels. Even so, I loved these little gems. I did something i rarely do, I bought a copy for myself. I couldn't be happier. The prints look clean, almost new. L'Atalante has been restored to its original version. A second disk and booklet provide critical perspective and a wealth of information on the makings of the films and the subsequent reception of the films. Vigo was way ahead of his time and so, of course his films were met with condemnation and scorn. When they were later discovered by a new generation in the 1950's they became the main inspiration for a new esthetic as realized by the Auteurs of the French New Wave. Vigo's films are celebrations of freedom, the sensual and noble grace of the human body, irrepressibly romantic; witty, satirical and playful; yet firmly grounded in real life. Anyone who truly loves film should see these wonderful films, and you can't go wrong with this collection.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Want to See What We're All Talking About 21 Jan. 2012
By Stephanie De Pue - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
"The Complete Jean Vigo," consists of three short, early silent works of the French filmmaker, "A propos de Nice,""Taris," and "Zero de conduite," along with "L'Atalante," (1930),thankfully a talkie, a romantic drama that is considered one of the lesser known glories of early French cinema, which is a shame, as it is a masterpiece.

"A propos de Nice" is a rhythmic view of life in that bustling tourist city; it occasionally rises to unexpected absurd heights. "Taris" is a portrait of a swimming champion. "Zero de conduite" is an inventive, charming tale of rebellious boarding school students, a topic on which Vigo can be presumed to know a lot: It has been endlessly influential to other film makers world wide over the years.

"L'Atalante"is in black and white, runs a tight 89 minutes, and is the greatest achievement of Vigo, a too-little known but greatly respected and influential film maker, who died of tuberculosis, shortly after its completion, at the shockingly young age of 29. The film is now generally available only on this disk that constitutes the entire oeuvre of the director's short, turbulent life.

Vigo's master work opens as Juliette, a young girl who has never set foot outside her village, marries Jean, mate on a French river barge named "L'Atalante," and sets up housekeeping aboard. Also aboard are a cabin boy, and the colorful old sailor Pere Jules, played by the inimitable Michel Simon (Port of Shadows (The Criterion Collection),The Train). When the barge reaches Paris, Juliette, who has never seen that great city, slips off to take a look at it. Jean awakes, discovers her gone, and leaves her to her own devices in the French capital. She knows no one there, has no money, does not know the city at all, and will have a very hard time there. But so will Jean, on his own again, until Pere Jules goes to find her.

But this simple, engaging plot isn't the reason the film is so loved. It was restored in 2001, making Boris Kaufman's brilliant cinematography and Maurice Jaubert's lovely score accessible again. The picture is legendary for its sheer, sparkling beauty: the waterways of France, and of Paris - the movie was filmed in that city's "Bassin de la Villette, Paris 19"-- among other locations, have never looked more evocatively beautiful. The characters are full-blown, their actions unpredictable, confusing, true to life. The film is wildly imaginative, inventive, surrealist, and has been compared to the daring early works of Vigo's contemporaries, the better known Jean Cocteau and Luis Bunuel. It remains fresh today, with scenes that still have the power to surprise and absorb us.

Vigo was the son of Miguel Almareyda, a notorious anarchist, who died mysteriously in jail when Vigo was 12. The young boy was always in poor health: he was abandoned by his mother and sent from boarding school to boarding school. Lucky for us, he took up film at age 23. Just because Vigo is little-known today, doesn't mean his work is not accessible. You want to see what we're all talking about.
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