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Vigo, Jean(zhäN vēgō`), 1905–34, French movie director, whose original name was Jean Almereyda. His reputation is based on two superb films: Zéro de Conduite (1933) and L'Atalante (1934, uncut release 1989). Zéro de Conduite is a surrealistic depiction of Vigo's years in boarding school and shows a poetic expressiveness and a marked feeling for the strange and unexpected. L'Atalante is a haunting evocation of life on a Paris river barge and in the city's river-front districts.
See biography by P. E. S. Gomes (1971); J. and H. Feldman, An Index to the Films of Jean Vigo (1976).
Born Apr. 22, 1905, in Paris; died there Oct. 5, 1934. French film director.
Vigo began his work in film as an assistant cameraman. His first work as an independent director was an amateur documentary film and a sharp social satire A Propos Nice (1929). In the film Zero for Conduct (1932) he protested the cruelty of the educational system in French boarding schools. In his most important film, Atalanta (1934), Vigo displayed with especial force his poetic gift as a director, and particularly his ability to make complex philosophical generalizations based on glimpses of everyday life. Vigo’s first films were shown in film clubs and were not shown commercially until much later. In 1935 the French Film Academy established a prize in Vigo’s name, to be awarded for the best works by young cinematographers.
REFERENCES“Jean Vigo.” Filmkritik, 1968, no. 9, pp. 622-34.
Kolodiazhnaia, V., and I. Trutko. Istoriia zarubezhnogo kino, vol. 2. Moscow, 1970. Pages 134-43.