“Le cinéma muet fut un diamant d’abord brut, puis poli et taillé. Le cinéma sonore doit fondre deux ordres de matériaux, l’image et le son, comme le fait l’art du vitrail ou celui de la céramique. Mais seul Vigo a réussi cette fusion parfaite : son cinéma est aussi homogène que du muet.”
“What my favorite film is? Well, one comes to mind recently because it was just shown. It’s L’Atalante by Jean Vigo. It is a film I marvel at. You wonder, how could someone construct a film like that, with that vision? I find it is very difficult just to conceive of something like that. That’s one reason why I like it, and secondly, because it works on all levels and it is just very cinematic, just poetry.”
Charles Burnett, in a conversation with Charles Mane.
“You’re right if you don’t think that we’re going to discover America together. I say this to indicate right away the precise import of the words on the scrap of paper you have been given as a promise of more to come. I’m not concerned today with revealing what social cinema is, no more than I am in strangling it with a formula. Rather, I’m trying to arouse your latent need to more often see good films – filmmakers, please excuse me for the pleonasm – dealing with society and its relationships with individuals and things. Because, you see, the cinema suffers more from flawed thinking than from a total absence of thought. At the cinema we treat our minds with a refinement that the Chinese usually reserve for their feet. On the pretext that the cinema was born yesterday, we speak babytalk, like a daddy who babbles to his darling so that his little babe-in-arms can better understand him.”
Jean Vigo in ‘Toward a Social Cinema’, read it here on Sabzian.be in three languages.
Read an extensive biography on Jean Vigo here.