Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sight & Sound Challenge: L'Atalante (1934)

Film: L'Atalante (106/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

A newlywed couple. A boat. A first mate. Lots of kitties. The magic of this film is in setting the stage and then letting the details give the story life. The boat is their whole world, and while the outside world can be a flashy temptation, that boat is home sweet home. While I couldn't necessarily relate to her desire to get back home (who would want to live on an old boat when Paris is calling?), the film certainly makes a convincing argument by showing the city beneath the glamorous exterior. Home is where the people who love you are. And I loved the story about seeing your beloved in the water. The image of the groom swimming with his bride's face appearing before him, the cats surrounding the phonograph, the genuinely joyful embrace between the two's all so timeless and dreamy and wonderful. It's a real pity that director Jean Vigo died so young. He could have had an extraordinary future. I'm glad this film was so lovingly preserved so the world could appreciate what he gave to the world of cinema during his short stay. May his name never be forgotten.  

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