Boudu, a tramp, jumps into the Seine. He is rescued by Mr Lestingois, a gentle and good bookseller, who gives shelter to him. Mrs Lestingois and the maid Anne-Marie (Mr Lestingois' mistress... See full summary »
A surrealist tale of a man and a woman passionately in love with one another, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted by their families, the Church, and bourgeois society.
Caridad de Laberdesque
A surrealistic documentary portrait of the region of Las Hurdes, a remote region of Spain where civilisation has barely developed, showing how the local peasants try to survive without even the most basic utilities and skills.
Magical slice of surrealism which was very ahead of its time
"Zero For Conduct" is one of the great Jean Vigo's few films. After this and the masterpiece "L'Atalante", he died of tuberculosis at age twenty-nine. This is a shame, because had he lived, he surely would be as highly regarded as either Fellini or Bunuel. "Zero For Conduct" in particular is a magical film. It manages to tell an engaging storyline with many nice moments of dreamlike surrealism in a manner that brings to mind Jean Cocteau. It was also very ahead of its time. The naturalistic camera-work, settings, and performers bring to mind the French New Wave and the films of Truffant, and the story is very similar to "If...". Despite being only forty minutes, its a captivating and unique film the whole way through.
The movie unfortunately falls slightly short of masterpiece status for reasons that were probably out of Vigo's control. He was working under a very tight shooting schedule, and the rushed nature shows in the final product. The resolution in particular is rather unsatisfying and very abrupt. Still, there's so much visual beauty on display here that those minor defects become largely irrelevant. This is one of those films which the negative aspects are quickly forgotten and the qualities are what resonate. Add to that a perfect cast (its rare when the kids in a movie seem the right age for their characters), and you have a marvelous little film. (9/10)
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