Monday, 30 January 2012

Join Light House aboard L’Atalante for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day

Light House is pleased to announce a special Valentine’s Day screening of Jean Vigo’s, deeply moving masterpiece, L’Atalante (1934). Unquestionably the greatest romance ever made, Light House are delighted to offer you the chance to see the film as intended by Vigo, having been brilliantly digitally remastered by the BFI. The screening will take place on Tuesday 14 February at 8.15pm. Tickets cost: £7.60 full / £6.20 conc. with a complimentary cocktail for all ticket holders. Drinks are served from 8pm. To book tickets contact Light House Box Office on 01902 716055 or visit http://www.light-house.co.uk/

When Juliette (Dita Parlo) marries and moves in with Seine barge captain Jean (Jean Dasté), their relationship soon shows signs of strain. Sharing the cramped boat with eccentric bosun Père Jules (Michel Simon), a cabin boy and a clutter of cats doesn’t help; nor do Jean’s jealous tendencies or the couple’s reluctance to compromise. To this simple story Vigo brings an extraordinary array of ideas and insights, while the lustrous lyricism of Boris Kaufman’s camerawork, injections of surrealism and the almost childlike innocence of the performances locate the film in a fertile territory between objective realism and subjective fantasy. In their scenes together (which include one of the most erotic in cinema), Dasté and Parlo reveal an achingly vulnerable intensity. No other movie matches its mix of playfulness, poetry, sensuality and tenderness; this masterpiece is truly timeless.

Based on a one-page scenario by author, Jean Guinee, Vigo was initially apprehensive to take on what he deemed to be a frivolous workaday melodrama, unsuitable for himself in light of his previously socially scabrous work. After rewriting the short story with his trusted co-writer, Albert Riera, Vigo was able to fashion a story that allowed him to juxtapose hard-hitting, inner-city realism with exquisitely sensual flights into the surreal. However, the film would subsequently be butchered by Gaumont, who had commissioned the film, and renamed Le Chaland Qui Passe (The Passing Barge) for its release in 1934. Vigo’s original version would later be discovered in Italy, in 1989, and has been brilliantly digitally restored by the BFI for the big screen.

L’Atalante is recognised as the film that bridged the 1920’s surrealist cinema of Man Ray, Germaine Dulac, Buenel and Dali with the poetic-realist cinema of Julien Duvivier and Jaques Prevert in the mid to late 1930’s. Cited as the film that would be responsible for the eventual death of Jean Vigo; due to his insistence that they filmed in often freezing Parisian conditions, L’Atalante would be the final masterpiece by a true ‘poete maudit’. Voted as the sixth greatest movie of all time in Sight & Sounds 1992 poll, Jean Vigo’s stunning L’Atalante is a must see for the more discerning romantic. Its gentle, thoughtful tone conceals a carefully made film that is guaranteed to rouse passion and leave an enduring impression, warming even the coldest of hearts this Valentine’s Day.

Light House is offering you the unique opportunity to relive this cherished romance in the inimitable surroundings of Light House cinema. Ticket holders are also invited to attend Light House’s regular ‘Open Mic Night’ after the screening, admission free.

The screening will take place on Tuesday 14 February at 8.15pm. Tickets cost: £7.60 full / £6.20 conc. with a complimentary cocktail for all ticket holders. Drinks are served from 8pm. French with English subtitles. To book tickets contact Light House Box Office on 01902 716055 or visit http://www.light-house.co.uk/.  

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