The film begins coolly, neutrally with aerial views of Nice and the Riviera, picture postcard shots of the opulent hotels and casinos, promenaders, bathers. Satirical juxtapositions begin to creep in: wealthy-looking oldsters/diseased-looking slum kids, swimmers/alligators. In the final movement the editing becomes supercharged and associational: frenetic dancing, cemeteries, grotesque masks, even more frenetic dancing, consuming flames - apocalypse now for all bourgeois parasites! Though officially a co-direction, the picture is usually considered 'a Vigo film'. Kaufman's images are vigorous and eloquent, but the mind set behind the project is certainly Vigo's. Anyone fighting back against all the unsubtle clamour will register the rage and despair, but may wonder what's to be said after all that. See Zéro de Conduite for the answer.
Jean Vigo, Boris Kaufman
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