Posted by Larry Gleeson

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Jacques Rozier was perhaps one of the most emblematic of the Nouvelle Vague directors. Want the Sun(1962) remains his most famous work and it is with this and with the former Blue Jeans (1958) that earns the esteem of Jean-Luc Godard.  Godard is helpful to attend the filming of Contempt during which can devote himself to the realization of two interesting short films, Paparazzi and the parties des choses: Bardot et Godard (1963).

It is curious to read that on the set of the film despite the confidentiality of the place where there is Villa Malaparte, another director, Peter Fleischmann, is filming a short documentary about his meeting with Fritz Lang, also in Capri and called by Godard himself to interpret as he is struggling with a modern version of the Odyssey. A set quite busy as well as the attraction of numerous paparazzi hoping to immortalize Bardot in bikini, these are best sellers shots, but Brigitte “is not kind” with them, with the stern look borrowed from classical statues of dummy Lang film, accuses the intrusiveness of the paparazzi who defend themselves while extolling the dangers of their work and the hours and hours spent in the sun hiding in the rugged rocks of the lush landscape where the villa is situated.

In Paparazzi Godard and local law enforcement protect it from prying eyes peering at a safe distance on an elusive diva at home in the island paradise, the ideal place to put aside the iconic image that Rozier insistently scrolls before our eyes with coated interludes in which alternate, rhythmically-infinite covers on which stands the portrait of a modern woman: “illogical, disarming, mysterious, regal.” These are the words used by Rozier in his The parties des choses: Bardot et Godard, another short film shot in Capri in which the director does not dwell exclusively on hunting prey until the last BB, a magnificent shot. The attention now moves to the whole team, probing Godard’s method, “the party of things” or how the director benefits from the elements of the surrounding reality that often interfere in the working of Contempt, a vision of ever default creative process but continually changing. Rozier focuses on the evolution of a product film without diminishing its artistic value, long-awaited and discussed, which stars Brigitte Bardot and Jean Luc Godard, two interpreters, paradoxically at odds, in contemporary cinema.

Jacques Rozier with Jean Vigo , created in 1964 for the television episode Cinéastes de notre temps, sheds light on the short but intense work of another filmmaker through the testimony of its employees, in contrast to the two previous works on Contempt, here the documentary is part of the canonical forms, the originality of the work is inherent nell’atipicità of the subject matter. Jean Vigo has no need of engaging the editing rhythms, its irony, particularly scathing in Paparazzi, emerges from interviews, friends and actors, who worked with Vigo and remember that experience with emphasis and transportation. And this is what strikes the viewer, despite the precarious health conditions of the director, the satirical backbone in the way of Nice, which moves Vigo and infects a bit – all being evoked in the story of these unique experiences. Gilles Margaritis stated: “All those who worked with Vigo Vigo had something,” as if to underline the common feeling of the crew, a shared sense of humor which, according to Jean Dasté hung over every disagreement smothering the bud.

This comedy over the top, heir perhaps the famous phrase “Je vous dis merde!” Imprinted from Vigo father on the cover of La Guerre Sociale (shooting in the film Zero for Conduct ), provides, for example, the presence of a real “cats pitcher” on the set of L’Atalante \, a key figure to create havoc on the scene, and writing a humorous song full of puns, deliberately banal, intoned by a street vendor, a necessary choice because of every film requires a catchy tune.

The documentary puts not only into light the playful aspect of the realization of Vigo film, but also the economic and the questionable choices distributors face. It happens to L’Atalante distributed by Gaumont, who decides to change the title of the film on the success of a popular song the Chaland qui passe, sung by Lys Gauty (adaptation of Tell me about love, Mariù ), a controversial and unacceptable commercial choice for Vigo, who on his deathbed has distanced himself from his latest film that he no longer recognizes.

— Cecilia Cristiani

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