back Print Version
About Nice
(A propos de Nice)

In the sunny seaside town of Nice, wealthy tourists enjoy the luxury hotels and gambling casinos - scarcely noticing the local working class people who clean streets and prepare for the town’s annual carnival. Vigo presents in this experimental documentary a unique portrait of the city of Nice, a study in ‚contrasts’ between idlers sprawled in the sun in the wealthier sections of nice and the poor sections of the old town. With its various extrordinary juxtapositions and experimental camera techniques, revealing a whole alternative side of Nice. A PROPOS DE NICE is not so much a documentary, but more a brilliantly crafted assault on everything that the young debutant film-maker Jean Vigo hated about Nice. It is witty, it is charming, but it is also dangerously subversive.

As early morning dawns on the French Riviera, the town of Nice gradually stirs for the day ahead. Cafe's set up their pavement tables, the streets are washed clean and the omnipresent palm trees are harvested. Soon the boulevards bustle with young and old alike, decked out in their finery and out to be noticed. There is a single thread which connects all of these visitors though; they're all wealthy and able to afford a vacation by the sea.

On the other side of the wall, displaced from the world of ballroom dancing, lie the real inhabitants of Nice. The people who run the bars, sell newspapers from their invalid cart and gamble forcefully in quiet alleyways.The contrast between the tourists, roasting on the beach in their heavy suits (no sunbathers yet), and the locals, casual in their laughter, is immense. A single purpose unites them but they share no idealogical common ground, even when the Mardi Gras takes Nice in its grip. Gaudy floats and paper-mache figures sway alarmingly, attracting crowds and showing the area at its best. (Damian Cannon in


Günter A. Buchwald

0 new score
  Ensemble (1 - 15 Musicians)    
flute, piano, accordeon, violin, bass
sync fps