Review of L’Atalante (1934)

Moving picture, 89 minutes

Newlyweds parade down to the young husband’s barge—named after a huntress of ancient Greek legend—and cast off for a new and rocky life together. There are two other people on the boat, mainly the strange old ”père Jules” who’s seen more foreign ports than he now has cats.

Neat impressionist drama with realistic acting, but it still shows frequent hints of melodrama. A strange case of clouded authorial intentions; the director died before applying some planned but undocumented final changes to the editing, so nobody knows exactly how the film is really supposed to look. Some French fanboys feel they have a pretty good idea.

moving picture fiction