The Complete Jean Vigo Criterion Collection
"Freedom comes at a high price, and it's very rare. There are maybe ten free men in the world. Jean Vigo was a free man and, as such, he set an example." - Jean Painleve, colleague and friend of Jean Vigo

The story of French filmmaker Jean Vigo's tragically short, venerable, groundbreaking career has its parallels with that of Orson Welles, but it is much crueler: Whereas Welles faded in and out, haunting the silver screen for decades after Citizen Kane, Vigo (unintentionally) burnt out. His passion for cinema having led him, despite his physical frailty and ill health, to brave the elements while filming his great, sole feature, 1934's L'Atalante, he developed tuberculosis and died at the tender age of 29, before he could put what surely would have been further transporting visions onto celluloid. His reputation as an innovator, master, and prophet of the cinema has remained intact for 80 years now, even though he left only enough work for a very short retrospective. That body of work is an absolutely essential one, and Criterion has finally brought it to us on a Blu-ray compilation that has a long-reserved place on the shelf of any serious film lover.

Featured in this wonderful set are all of his works, including 'A propos de Nice,' 'Taris,' 'Zero de Conduite,' and the universally beloved 'L'Atalante.' An absolute treasure of cinematic treats, this collection of works is teeming with heart, whimsy, and beauty.

BD50 + 2xDVD9 | AVC 1080p, NTSC | 161 minutes | 45.8 Gb + 15 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Francais
Subtitles: English

• Jean Vigo's L'Atalante (1934), one of the greatest films ever made, is about two people madly in love with each other who realize that to stay in love they must learn to compromise. (89 min).

A propos de Nice (1930) - Jean Vigo's first film is a short documentary about life in the beautiful city of Nice and its residents. Music only, not subtitled. (24 min).

-- Alternate Edit - a collection of sequences, which Jean Vigo intended for a longer version of A propos de Nice. Silent. (22 min).

Taris (1931) - a short film about Olympic swimmer Jean Taris, who demonstrates and discusses various swimming techniques. What is interesting here, however, are the various filming techniques on display (slow-motion filming, underwater filming, etc). In French, with optional English subtitles. (10 min).

Zero de conduite (1933) - based on Jean Vigo's own experiences, this enormously charming "anarchist" film follows four boys in a boarding school who decide to sabotage the system. In French, with optional English subtitles. (45 min).

Commentary - an audio commentary by Michael Temple, author of Jean Vigo. The commentary was recorded exclusively for Criterion in 2011. In English, not subtitled.

Tribute - a short animated tribute to Jean Vigo by filmmaker Michel Gondry (The Science of Sleep). Music only. (1 min).

Cineastes de notre temps - an episode of the French television program Cineastes de notre temps, which focuses on Jean Vigo's career and legacy. Directed by Jacques Rozier, the episode first aired on October 15, 1964. In French, with optional English subtitles. (99 min).

Truffaut and Rohmer on L'Atalante - in this fascinating video interview, nouvelle vague directors Francois Truffaut and Eric Rohmer discuss Jean Vigo's legacy and L'atalante and its status as a timeless classic. In French, with optional English subtitles. (19 min)

Les voyages de "L'Atalante" - in this documentary, film historian and restorer Bernard Eisenschitz describes the path of L'Atalante over the years, from the savage cuts made to it in 1934 to the more complete version we have today. In French, with optional English subtitles. (40 min).

Otar Iosseliani on Vigo - acclaimed Georgian filmmaker Otar Iosseliani (Pastorali, Monday Morning) discusses Jean Vigo's work and the enormous influence L'Atalante had on him. In French, with optional English subtitles. (20 min).