Vigo Passion for Life

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Jean Vigo (1905-34) suffered from TB and paranoia. His anarchist father was murdered when Vigo was 12, and the event haunted him. Yet in a career that encompassed only three short scraps and one heavily compromised feature (L'Atalante), Vigo ensured his place in history as a poet of cinema. Best known for The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle, Julien Temple doubtless identified with Vigo the proto-punk and master metteur-en-scène, yet the character here, filtered through a gauzy screenplay, is an impetuous, immature prankster whose love for cinema seems to be a symptom of congenital irresponsibility. Constructed as a romance of sorts, the film begins with Vigo (Frain) meeting his future wife Lydu (Bohringer) in an alpine sanatorium, whisking her off to marriage and motherhood in Nice, and then abandoning her to his career. While Frain strikes a boyish, charismatic note, and Bohranger brings her trademark pursed soulfulness to Lydu, they're surrounded by as excruciating a contingent of channel-hopping Frenchmen as you'll find this side of TV's 'Allo, 'Allo.

Release details

Duration: 103 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Julien Temple
Screenwriter: Peter Ettedgui, Anne Devlin, Julien Temple
Cast: Romane Bohringer
James Frain
Jim Carter
Diana Quick
William Scott-Masson
Lee Ross
Nicholas Hewetson
Brian Shelley
Kenneth Cranham
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