Essays

1. ON L'ATALANTE (JEAN VIGO, 1934), BY ELLEN PARKER

This is a short essay composed in examination conditions by Ellen Parker, who was responding to the question 'Evaluate the importance of décor and setting in L'Atalante'. The film tells the tale of two newlyweds on a barge captained by a fantastical old sailor, Père Jules, the pressure of space on their relationship, their brief separation and their return to each other.

The essay is built on a classical ternary structure that allows very clear understanding of the points made: point 1 + point 2 leading to point 3, which places the first two points together but notes that they are irreconcilable:

• point 1 - negative space on the barge ('reality')

• point 2 - positive space on the barge ('fantasy')

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