8

SUNDAY

L’Atalante, Jean Vigo’s only feature-length film, could easily have been a mundane love story, but the director transforms it into a voyage. The movie begins with a marriage, and as the happy couple boards a barge and heads downriver, the bride’s family looks on in dismay. From there, Vigo’s picture goes into detail about life aboard a ship—cleaning sheets, getting seasick, interactions with crew—pretty exciting stuff. No, really, because Vigo manages to turn these everyday events into dreamlike hallucinations—mostly thanks to Boris Kaufman’s cinematography, which makes daily routine and drab surroundings float with a sense of excitement and life. In this film, one can see how Vigo—and his ability to find transcendence in day-to-day events—had a profound influence on a generation of French New Wave filmmakers. L’Atalante screens with the rest of Vigo’s films at 2 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 842-6799. (Jacob Long)