Overrated Jean Vigo

I just watched all four films (two shorts, one mini-feature and one feature) of French director Jean Vigo. He made the films in the early 1930s and then promptly died. He’s regarded by some as a genius. However, I feel like this is a sick joke by misguided film historians, pretentious film critics and some French New Wave filmmakers who labeled his work “Poetic Realism.” I got almost nothing from the films and tend to agree with critics of the time who called his work “confused, incoherent, willfully absurd, long, dull [and] commercially worthless.” Yes, there is some nice cinematography and a modern sense of rambling nothingness, but I was not impacted emotionally or aesthetically in any way.

But perhaps you should judge for yourself. Check out his bio here, and if you’re intrigued, you might want to watch À Propos de Nice (my favorite of his four films: 3 stars on my 0-5 short-film scale) or his most famous work, L’Atalante (1 ¼ stars on my 0-5 feature-film scale).

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