After scraping together enough money for a camera, it is said that the young film-fanatic Vigo set of portraying the 1920's city of Nice through inexperienced experimentationalism in a curious and clumsy way almost to the point of voyeuristic naivety. But then again, one might argue that such a viewpoint is more naïve than any you might encounter in the film. Through the inventive cinematography of Boris Kaufman, A propose de Nice describes life in the costal city with a subtle overtone of social criticism. As Jean Vigo reluctantly settled in Nice due to bad health, his discontent for bourgeois tourism is emphasised through its juxtaposition with the local working-class. The wealthy visitors lie annoyed and dissatisfied, roasting in the sun, while the local working class wait on them hand and foot with a smile and a cheerful attitude towards life. As they can be seen as death and the decay of man, the festival Mardi Gras dancers might represent the opposite through the life-giving consequence of female sexuality. More important, I believe the film displays a fairly accurate experience of Nice as that of the director through this delicate fusion of realism and surrealism.
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