Thursday, March 10, 2016
L'Atalante (also released as Le Chaland qui passe) is a 1934 French film written and directed by Jean Vigo.
Jean Dasté stars as Jean, the captain of a river barge who lives with his new wife Juliette (Dita Parlo) on the barge, along with first mate Père Jules (Michel Simon) and the cabin boy (Louis Lefebvre).
After the difficult release of his controversial short film Zero for Conduct, Vigo initially wanted to make a film about Eugène Dieudonné, whom Vigo's father (famous anarchist Miguel Almereyda) had been associated with in 1913. After Vigo and his producer Jacques-Louis Nounez struggled to find the right project for a feature film, Nounez finally gave Vigo an unproduced screenplay by Jean Guinée about barge dwellers.
Vigo re-wrote the story with Albert Riéra while Nounez secured a distribution deal with the Gaumont Film Company with a budget of ₣1 million. Vigo used many of the technicians and actors that worked with him on Zero for Conduct, such as cinematographer Boris Kaufman and actor Jean Dasté.
It has been hailed by many critics as one of the greatest films of all time.