L’Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)

Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the barge L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy.

Michel Simon, Dita Parlo, Jean Dasté

I thought I had seen L’Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934) in my festival-going youth, but nothing about it seemed familiar recently. I had no idea how to read it (‘human romanticism’? wtf? ‘poetry’?) not knowing if the husband was going to beat up the wife, if Michel Simon’s oddball character had escaped from the loony bin, that sort of thing. So I’ll have to see it again, dutifully, now that the BFI says it’s the 12th best film ever made. It wouldn’t be in my top 100 at the moment, but I’ll see it again soon, OK? Acting is coded differently in different historical periods, and I haven’t adjusted to this style.

Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 1 March, 2017 | Now: 27 March, 2017