Jean Vigo had a brief but brilliant career making poetic, lightly surrealist films before his life was cut tragically short by tuberculosis at age twenty-nine. Like the daring early works of his contemporaries Jean Cocteau and Luis Buñuel, Vigo’s films refused to play by the rules.
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1934, 89 minutes.
In Jean Vigo’s hands, an unassuming tale of conjugal love becomes an achingly romantic reverie of desire and hope. Jean, a barge captain, marries Juliette, an innocent country girl, and the two climb aboard Jean’s boat, the L’Atalante. The film works both as a surprisingly erotic idyll and as a lucid meditation on love.