by Jean Vigo
Country: France
Year: 1934
Duration: 89'

After marrying Jean, the captain of the barge called L’Atalante, Juliette finds herself living aboard the ship with elderly Père Jules, a young cabin-boy and a dog. In the beginning she is excited by her marriage and her joy in her new life, which is always on the go, but after a while Juliette finds it increasingly difficult to put up with the boring routine of shipboard life. One evening, after they arrive near a big city, the woman decides to slip away. Jean discovers her escape and considers abandoning his wife. But Père Jules solves all the problems and the two young people reconcile and return to the barge together.

“Man’s eye, at the present status of science, is no more sensitive than his heart is. This would be depressing if we didn’t have some reason to still find hope in cinematographic films. Those of you who still don’t realize that cinema is a great art, that cinema is life: I am equally sure that your color will be without aniline and that your television will be a fadeout in conformity to the powers that be.” (J. Vigo)


film director

Jean Vigo

Jean Vigo (Paris, 1905-1934) was born in a poor Parisian attic and right from the start suffered from poor health. His father, a photographer and above all a militant anarchist, died in prison in 1917. Vigo enrolled at university but found the strict discipline difficult to bear, an experience he evoked in Zéro de conduite (Zero for Conduct, 1933). After receiving his degree in Philosophy he enrolled at the Sorbonne, but cinema was his true passion. During this same period he met Elisabeth Losinska at the Font- Romeu sanatorium and married her in 1929; they had one daughter. He worked as assistant director before debuting as a director in 1930 with the short À propos de Nice, followed by Zéro de conduite. In 1934 he began the film L’Atalante. Vigo saw only one non-definitive copy of the film before dying of tuberculosis at only 29 years of age.


À propos de Nice (id., cm, 1930), Taris ou la natation (cm, 1931), Zéro de conduite (Zero in condotta, mm, 1933), L’Atalante (id., 1934)