TONI (Jean Renoir, 1934)

Based on an actual crime dossier, Jean Renoir’s Toni realistically depicts ordinary lives, thus departing from the theatrical or lyrically impressionistic styles that had dominated French cinema. Renoir filmed on location in Martigues, a village in southern France, blending local residents and professional actors and directly recording sound.      Immigrants from Italy and Spain have come […]

A PROPOS DE NICE (Jean Vigo, 1929)

Crisp and exuberant, full of youthful iconoclasm, stingingly ironical, Jean Vigo’s documentary A propos de Nice satirizes the resort crowd on the French Riviera. Its restless camera, both in terms of movement and the rapid-change variety of camera angles and positions that Vigo devises with the assistance of cinematographer Boris Kaufman (Dziga Vertov’s brother), conjoins […]