Atalante, L' (1934) * Worst Hit *

 

La Tanante
"I'M KING OF THE TOILET!"
 

Genre: Drama Romance (France)

Starring: Michel Simon (Boudu Saved from Drowning • The Bitch), Dita Parlo (La Grande Illusion)

Directed By: Jean Vigo (Zéro De Conduite)

Overview: A woman marries the captain of a small ship in hopes of sailing the world.  Her reality isn't as glamorous as her dreams of foreign lands.

Performance:

Everyone's favorite is going to be the big first mate, a slow but solid sailor who has quite a love of cats. The stunty little salesman who tries to seduce the unimpressed wife is also a possibility for the fun factor.  I don't know if it was Vigo's intention to make the captain and husband, certainly one of the primary characters, such a knob, but I'm not much for caring about people I don't like.  It also makes me hate the people who hang around him, that being everyone on the ship, who just so happens to be most of the cast... 
Rating: 6

Cinematography:

Some moments, like the separated married couple in their respective beds, pining for each other, burning with desire, was considered daring back in the 30s, I'm sure, and images that convey these emotion clearly are one of my favorite devices, but artistic shots like these were not the order of the day.  Sadly I was all to preoccupied with the muddy print that needed more cutting.  As cinematographic experiences go, I found it very much lacking in originality.
Rating: 4

Script:

When I go into a slice-of-life tale, I like to know that it's fairly plotless because then I can submit to the pure character study that it purports to be.  On the other hand I don't tend to like knowing what the movies on 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die are about, because then I would risk not wanting to see a boring story about people living on a smelly old cat-infested boat with a dick for a captain. 
Rating: 5

Plot:

A woman marries a sailor. She's never been out of the little village her whole life, and it's pretty obvious that she did it to get out of town, and fast. Well life on a boat, cozy as it is, isn't quite the jet-setting lifestyle of exploring foreign ports that she expected, even though she makes fast friends with the tattooed first mate.. Blah blah blah.
Rating: 3

Mood:

I've got to disagree with the 'Must See' consensus of this film, mainly because of pacing. I felt the constant need to edit this film just a little more, to slice the last three second off each take. Far too many moments left me feeling like someone was asleep at the wheel. Maybe it's the era before MTV, maybe I have to appreciate the sedentary pacing representative of the sedentary life on a boat... Nah, not buying it. Das Boot explored boredom in an entertaining way, this did not.
Rating: 4

Music to bring pussy to your door...
Music to bring pussy to your door...

Overall Rating: 44% (La Tanante)
Aftertaste:

Girlfriend of Squish said, "Is this on your list? Really? I don't get how this is considered important. Maybe no one else made a movie in 1934, is that why this is on your list?" She kills me sometimes. I'm glad I borrowed this muddy print rather than paying for a rental... Another film proving again the inferiority of 30s cinema, ack.

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