Thursday, January 17, 2013
Jean Vigo | À Propos de Nice
the living and the deadby Douglas Messerli
Jean Vigo À Propos de Nice / 1930
So far, Vigo has only satirized his figures, but he soon begins to point up what that wealth hides, highlighting his silent and unspoken figures against a far more political context. As the camera dips into some of the Nice side streets where peasant women are busy washing their clothes in public fountains, we begin also to spot local teenagers, some of them gathering to play games of
cruder version of the casino games—others simply on the run, bicycling, racing through
the streets—a far cry from the careful strollers—in wild abandonment.
Suddenly it is almost as if Kaufman’s camera has become energized as he now parallels these poor-boy activities with the pleasures of others of the upper class. The beaches are filled with swimmers, sailing vessels and small yachts appear on the horizon, a water-plane dips into the ocean, tennis matches are cross-cut with bocce bowls. The sun shines across the Riviera paradise.
Los Angeles, January 17, 2013