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FRI, SEP 21 2:40   6:20
SAT/SUN, SEP 22/23 3:00   6:30
MON, SEP 24 2:40
TUE/WED/THU/FRI, SEP 25/26/27/28 2:40   6:20
SAT, SEP 29 3:00   6:30
SUN, SEP 30 6:30
MON, OCT 1 2:40
TUE, OCT 2 2:40   6:20

Through Tuesday, October 2

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ZERO FOR CONDUCT Restored Director’s Cut
(1933) Incorrigible kids return to the world’s crummiest boarding school (based on Vigo’s own bitter childhood experiences of one) and then things rapidly get surreal.  This restoration, five minutes longer than previous versions, contains unseen extended sequences and eliminates intertitles used in more recent prints. 

(1930) Under the guise of a travelogue, a biting but deadpan critique of classism via Eisensteinian associative montage: fur coated diva/ostrich: café revelers on the Promenade/group of crocodiles, etc. Cut at the time for “bad taste.”

(1931) Brief documentary on champion swimmer, with underwater and slo-mo shots.

Program of 3 films. All 4K DCP restorations. Approx. 84 min.

Presented with support from the George Fasel Memorial Fund for Classic French Cinema


“I had the pleasure of discovering Jean Vigo’s films in a single Saturday afternoon session in 1946, at the Sevres-Pathé, thanks to the Ciné-Club ‘La Chambre Noire,’ organized by André Bazin and other contributors to La Revue du Cinéma. When I entered the theater, I didn’t even know who Jean Vigo was. I was immediately overwhelmed with wild enthusiasm for his work, which doesn’t take up two hundred minutes of projection time.”
– François Truffaut

“We know he was sick when he made his two films and that he directed some sequences of Zéro de Conduite lying in a cot. It is easy to conclude that he was in a kind of fever while he worked. It is very possible, indeed plausible. It is certainly true that one can be considerably more brilliant, more intense, and stronger when one has a ‘temperature.’ When one of his friends advised him to husband his strength, to hold himself back, Vigo answered that he felt he lacked the time and that he had to give everything right away. It seems likely that Jean Vigo, knowing the game was almost up, was stimulated by his measured time. Behind his camera he must have been in the state of mind Ingmar Bergman referred to when he said. ‘One must make each film as if it were the last.’”
– François Truffaut

“Like all ‘first films,’ Zéro de Conduite has its experimental aspect. Lots of ideas that are more–or less–integrated into the scenario are shot through a kind of ‘let’s try it and see what happens’ attitude. I am thinking of the college celebration when dummies are mixed with real people on the platform, which is also a fairground booth. That could be out of René Clair of the same period; in any case, it is a dated idea. But for a set piece like that, there are nine superb inventions, droll, poetic, or shocking, but all possessing great visual power and a still-unequalled bluntness.”
– François Truffaut

“The scenes in the dormitory show Vigo in a moment of complete control over the cinema, which bends obediently to his desire to recreate the sense of delicious intimacy he had dredged out of his childhood memories. Here, the editing, the camera movements, the composition and inner rhythm of the images, the dialogue, the lighting, all is fused into a harmonious whole which was probably one of Vigo’s most ambitious dreams.”
– P. E. Salles Gomes

À Propos de Nice is a witty, subversive, visually dynamic city portrait…. Taris is an exuberant tribute to a champion swimmer… As scathing as it is effervescent and tender, Zéro de conduite was quickly banned. Its executive producer, Jacques-Louis Nounez, then gave Vigo a script that promised to be less risky, a story on a popular theme of river life. With contributions from a loyal team of friends and collaborators—including cinematography by Kaufman and music by Maurice Jaubert—Vigo transformed this banal material into a sublime depiction of love, erotic attraction, friendship and the mysteries of daily life.”
– Kristin M. Jones, The Wall Street Journal