Part of Mark Kermode's 'Europe in 25 films: the critics’ choice' - featured this month in The Observer.
A timeless masterpiece of love and yearning, 'L’Atalante' was the only full-length film made by Jean Vigo before his tragic early death. The film is now considered to be one of cinema's very greatest works.
Dita Parlo stars as a young bride who begins married life aboard her husband’s barge on the Seine. But within its cramped confines, shared with a small crew (including the eccentric Père Jules, memorably played by Michel Simon) and an abundance of cats, the relationship begins to flounder. Vigo imbues this simple tale, beautifully shot by Boris Kaufman, with social realism, lyrical romance and sensual eroticism to create a unique and enduring classic.
★★★★★ "Utterly indescribable, partway between comedy and tragedy, romance and realism, film and dream. See it and swoon" - Tom Huddleston, Time Out
★★★★★ "A masterpiece of sophistication, technique and human feeling" - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian