Jean Vigo

T. alt.: Taris; Taris, roi de l’eau. Sog., M.: Jean Vigo. F.: G. Lafont, Lucas. Prod.: Le Journal vivant, GFFA. DCP. D.: 9’. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

First of all, RESPECT, because in mid-July I will become a father. I don’t yet know whether to a son or a daughter, but I shall let you know as soon as I do.

Secondly, have you seen La Natation par Jean Taris at Les Miracles?

Filmed above and below water. The creature and its environment are beautiful, but… Jean Vigo is not Jean Painlevé. And that’s that!

Letter from Jean Vigo to Jean Painlevé, Nice, May 28th, 1931

This film on swimming champion Jean Taris, commissioned from Vigo by Germaine Dulac and shot in the early months of 1931, is often considered, within the context of his work, a minor film; it is sometimes ignored. Instead, it has the name ‘Vigo’ clearly printed on it, even if the director himself only loved the sequences shot underwater. He would recall them when shooting L’Atalante. But there’s more: the ‘swimming in a room’ scene is unusual and funny, as are Taris’s tricks and his winks directed towards the viewer, when, completely dressed, he walks on water. It was Vigo’s first experience working in sound, at a time when mixing did not exist. The filmmaker was able to create a counterpoint between the human voice and the sound of water in movement.

Luce Vigo, Jean Vigo, une vie engagée dans le cinéma, Cahiers du cinéma-CNDP, Paris 2002

Bernard Eisenschitz

Copy From

Restored in 4K in 2017 by Gaumont with the support of CNC – Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée at L’Immagine ritrovata and L’Image Retrouvée laboratories from a third generation sound interpositive acetate print and third generation nitrate prints preserved by Gaumont