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  • The Complete Jean Vigo (À propos de Nice / Taris / Zéro de conduite / L'Atalante) (The Criterion Collection)
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The Complete Jean Vigo (À propos de Nice / Taris / Zéro de conduite / L'Atalante) (The Criterion Collection)

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Editorial Reviews

Even among cinema’s greatest legends, Jean Vigo stands alone. The son of a notorious anarchist, Vigo had a brief but brilliant career making poetic, lightly surrealist films before his life was cut tragically short by tuberculosis at age twenty-nine. Like the daring early works of his contemporaries Jean Cocteau and Luis Buñuel, Vigo’s films refused to play by the rules. This set includes all of Vigo’s titles: À propos de Nice, an absurdist, rhythmic slice of life from the bustling coastal city of the title; Taris, an inventive short portrait of a swimming champion; Zéro de conduite, a radical, delightful tale of boarding-school rebellion that has influenced countless filmmakers; and, of course, L’Atalante, widely regarded as one of cinema’s finest achievements, about newlyweds beginning their life together on a canal barge. These are the endlessly witty, visually adventurous works of a pivotal film artist.

À propos de Nice, 1930, 23 min, B&W, Silent, 1.33:1

Taris, 1931, 9 min, B&W, Mono, In French with English subtitles, 1.19:1

Zéro de conduite, 1933, 44 min, B&W, Mono, In French with English subtitles

L’Atalante, 1934, 85 min, B&W, Mono, In French with English subtitles, 1.33:1


Special Features

New high-definition digital restorations of all of Jean Vigo’s films: À propos de Nice, Taris, Zéro de conduite, and L’Atalante, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks

Audio commentaries featuring Michael Temple, author of Jean Vigo

Alternate shots from À propos de Nice, featuring footage Vigo cut from the film

Animated tribute to Vigo by filmmaker Michel Gondry

Ninety-minute 1964 episode of the French television series Cinéastes de notre temps on Vigo, directed by Jacques Rozier

Conversation from 1968 between filmmakers François Truffaut and Eric Rohmer on L’Atalante

Les voyages de “L’Atalante,” Bernard Eisenschitz’s 2001 documentary tracking the history of the film

Video interview from 2007 with director Otar Iosseliani on Vigo

New and improved English subtitle translations

PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film writers Michael Almereyda, Robert Polito, B. Kite, and Luc Sante


Product Details

  • Actors: Michel Simon, Jean Dasté, Dita Parlo, Louis Lefebvre, Louis Berger
  • Directors: Jean Vigo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: August 30, 2011
  • Run Time: 161 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005152C7S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,953 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 75 people found the following review helpful By W. N. on May 28, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Sight unseen.... the Blu-ray DVD has not yet been released. I have however seen all of these films, and own l'Atalante on DVD--which improved the quality of this very old movie. In Blu-ray it will probably be further improved, but I cannot speak to that.
For me there is no movie more romantic and heartfelt than L'Atalante. It's story is simple enough, a young couple is married in a small town and then begins married life on Seine River barge heading for Paris. The deck hand is Michel Simon, (Boudu Saved From Drowning -Jean Renoir) in another funny role. They arrive in Paris, complications ensue... L'Atalante inspired the French New Wave, especially Francois Truffaut, Claude Lelouch and Jacques Rivette. It's one of the great treasures.

Zero de Conduite - is about a rebellion in a boarding school and established that genre. Luis Bunuel's Los Olvidados and Truffaut's the 400 Blows, quote directly from it.

A Propos de Nice and Taris are a City Film and a study of a swimming champion. They will seem very dated, but if you love movies, city films-films about cities-are interesting, both historically, and for the film techniques they used. The qualities of these short movies led directly to Vigo being allowed to make his two feature films.

I can't say enough about Jean Vigo and especially L'Atalante and Zero de Conduit.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Lee Roy Tree on August 29, 2011
Format: DVD
Jean Vigo is one of the best directors you might not have heard of until recently. This set completely does his work justice. I have the dvd version, and the transfers are absolutely gorgeous. There are informative commentaries, in depth episodes, an interview with Truffaut and Rohmer about the man and his work (and the short amount of time he had to do it), and a neat little tribute from the director Michael Gondry. This set is essential to any lover of cinema, and its storied beginnings. Get it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Frederick Baptist on July 22, 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
It is truly amazing what Criterion has done with the main course of this blu ray release which has been massacred by censors and clueless distributors so many times from the very beginning of its release. I'm talking of course about "L'Atalante" which is the jewel in the crown here and is sadly the last work of its director Vigo before his early death from consumption. When I watched this blu ray release I had the impression I was back in time watching in the old movie theatres where you would get a cartoon or two, a newsreel or two and then the main course. Here we get the 23 minute silent "documentary" of Nice in " Propos De Nice" to start us off followed by another 9 minute documentary about a top French swimmer in "Taris" and then a comedy of sorts which in the day was actually considered scandalous by the French public in the 44 minute "Zero de Conduite" which showed to me the quaint sense of humour of Vigo especially with the midget school principal; the scene where he struggles to put his hat on the ledge where a mirror is strategically placed to give the optical illusion that he was much taller is priceless! Without any words Vigo tells us exactly the character of the principal and how he sees himself as being more substantial/important than he really is or at least is perceived by everybody else.

While so far we have fairly entertaining fare for me at least "L'Atalante" is the masterpiece here. I have watched it 3 times already and I can't wait to watch it again which to me spells classic film in any language.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on January 21, 2012
Format: DVD
"The Complete Jean Vigo," consists of three short, early silent works of the French filmmaker, "A propos de Nice,""Taris," and "Zero de conduite," along with "L'Atalante," (1930),thankfully a talkie, a romantic drama that is considered one of the lesser known glories of early French cinema, which is a shame, as it is a masterpiece.

"A propos de Nice" is a rhythmic view of life in that bustling tourist city; it occasionally rises to unexpected absurd heights. "Taris" is a portrait of a swimming champion. "Zero de conduite" is an inventive, charming tale of rebellious boarding school students, a topic on which Vigo can be presumed to know a lot: It has been endlessly influential to other film makers world wide over the years.

"L'Atalante"is in black and white, runs a tight 89 minutes, and is the greatest achievement of Vigo, a too-little known but greatly respected and influential film maker, who died of tuberculosis, shortly after its completion, at the shockingly young age of 29. The film is now generally available only on this disk that constitutes the entire oeuvre of the director's short, turbulent life.

Vigo's master work opens as Juliette, a young girl who has never set foot outside her village, marries Jean, mate on a French river barge named "L'Atalante," and sets up housekeeping aboard. Also aboard are a cabin boy, and the colorful old sailor Pere Jules, played by the inimitable Michel Simon (Port of Shadows (The Criterion Collection),The Train).
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