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Disguised as a travelogue of Nice (in only images, without a single narration or title card), Vigo presents us with some of the most extraordinairy images you'll ever see.
On top of what was inspired observation (just pointing his camera at everyday things and making them look new, as if we've never seen them fore, Vigo was boundlessly inventive. Through simple slow motion, or fast motion, certain sequences are made magical (a procession, a bunch of girls dancing), through editing Vigo makes things disappear and appear, and change shape and appearance. His real magic, though, was in camera angles.
Apropos de Nice is one of the most exciting things i've ever seen. If you've seen Zero de Conduite and L'Atalante, the only two features Vigo completed before his premature death at 29, like me, you won't be able to help yourself from seeking out this little treasure, sadly only 25 mins long.
What was such a joy about Vigo was his wide-eyed wonder at the medium. Like Truffaut, Vigo had a boundless passion for movies as a boy, and at one point he saved up enough money to buy a camera, and he went out on the town in Nice and what we see in this movie is the result. Just Vigo standing there with a camera filming things, and the results are breathtaking. Just the look of things... the shapes of things, becomes illuminated by Vigo's curious camera. Vigo goes dancing on a crowded ballroom with his camera, watches sunbathers with it, watches passersby on the beachside, and watches a man reading a private letter over his shoulder, watches trees blowing in the wind, different men laughing, and much more i'll leave for you to discover. But its not the things themselves, its the way they are looked at - the camera angles, the way the camera moves around them. Vigo's lesson is that words are impotent, but images are magic.
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