Cinema Enthusiast

Scribblings from a lifelong lover of film. Keeping track of films I watch, the books I read, my blog posts and all related interests.

Aspiring librarian/former screen studies student who dreams of one day dabbling in film programming or archiving film documents or at the very least serving popcorn at an independent theater of some kind! I'm a lifelong pursuer of film to the point where it in large part defines me. I write so I can remember and so I can grow in my efforts to articulate. The online film community is a wondrous place where I hope to interact with many fellow cinephiles!

Idolizes Louise Brooks, Leonard Cohen, Joanna Newsom and Jim Henson. Favorite film is Bringing Up Baby (although in a couple of years I feel Shop Around the Corner could take that coveted spot) but I literally have hundreds and hundreds of favorite films that range from Fat Girl and Dogtooth to The Muppet Christmas Carol and The Emperor's New Groove. I also write for Verite, CineOutsider, and Criterion Cast.

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Films Rewatched in 2013:
#16. Zero for Conduct (1933, Vigo)
First Seen in: 2006

Playful anarchy executed with a boisterous celebration of freedom in all its forms. I personally prefer this to L’Atalante because of the way poeticism becomes linked to unbridled youth. This is a highly personal work from Vigo harking back to his days being schlupped around boarding schools and his dead father’s anarchist ideology. There is a tight scenic structure but the content within each scene has the opposite feel, that of carefree openness. Vigo and cinematographer Boris Kaufman extensively use high overhead shots to observe the boys as a scurrying gleefully undisciplined unit and the efforts by authority figures to rework them into rigid awkward symmetry. The overhead shots allow us to see with a pragmatic eye how unnatural the rigidity feels to us and the boys. Anarchism is displayed as a joyous arena where freedom simply entails the natural state of things reclaiming itself. Formally, Vigo reinforces this disposition where magic tricks and feats of experimentation are used as a form of communication both for the director and for the young boys. I’m fascinated by the matter-of-fact homosexuality suggested between effeminate Tabard and older Bruel.

Jean Daste, who I had a major crush on when I first saw this (more here than in L’Atalante) and still do, is an odd duck in this black and white spectrum of instigators and authority figures. He supports the boys, an adult who never really grew up and is really uncomfortable as an authority figure, rejecting it outright most of the time. He has his head in the clouds and uses his body as a playful instrument just like the boys, communicating in headstands and skips.

The pillow fight scene is justifiably the most famous and it was the only thing I remembered about it from my first viewing. It is fixes a moment in time using slow-motion with its otherwordly double inverted score by Maurice Jaubert. There are few moments in film that reach this level of majesty projecting a mythological triumph with its floating feathers and use of nudity.

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