Edwin, a taxi driver, lives with Annie, a neurasthenic model. They plan to spend Sunday at the Nikolassee beach with Wolfgang, an officer, gentleman, antiquarian, gigolo, at the moment a ... See full summary »
In one of the first mockumentaries ever created, director Jean Rouch takes his viewers to the city of Accra (West Africa) where he follows the Hauka movement and their religious and ritual ... See full summary »
A small-scale, witty and satirical examination on the ideas of class
Other reviewers have already commented on Vigo's subversive deconstruction of the various narrative requirements and visual iconography of the travelogue format for the purposes of cutting satire, to the point at which we almost forget to view the film on such a level; instead taking it entirely at face value. A Propos de Nice (1930) is a short work, though only twenty minutes shorter than Zéro de conduit (1933), which is an obvious minor masterpiece. Whereas that particular film - as well as the director's final feature, the even greater L'Atlante (1934) - presented captivating images and fragmented ideas backed by traces of character and narrative, the film in question is a purely visual experience. To understand the film we must read deeply into the subtle juxtaposition of the images as they are presented to us, in order to greater appreciate the ideas that Vigo is trying to convey.
As with his second short film, Taris, roi de l'eau (1931), which looked at the daily routine of a synchronised swimmer, A Propos de Nice takes a conventionally bland presentational format and style and transforms it into a pure cinematic event. It is still, in all respects, a small-scale work; one that may confound and disappoint audiences looking for more of the magical realism and pretty evocation of youth and beauty presented by both Zéro de conduit and L'Atlante, though it is worth experiencing purely for Vigo's radical presentation and satirical evaluation of class and the bourgeoisie.
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