Tonight’s film is Jean Vigo’s 1930 release À Propos de Nice. Nominally a street scene type of late silent, as time goes on it moves into both the more experimental, the more silly, the more satirical, the weirder. For Vigo, the portrayal of the city’s wealthy at play was a political act. He stated, “In this film, by showing certain basic aspects of a city, a way of life is put on trial… the last gasps of a society so lost in its escapism that it sickens you and makes you sympathetic to a revolutionary solution.”
I can’t really say this holds up well as a political document and I doubt it is inspiring any viewers to grab a gun and head to the Sierra Maestra, but visually and intellectually, it’s a real fascinating film. Very much a shame that Vigo died just a few years later from tuberculosis, at the age of 29.