DIRECTOR'S CUT / Zero de Conduite: Lindsay Anderson on the pillow fight from Vigo's Zero de Conduite

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The Independent Culture
THE MOST famous scene in Zero de Conduite is the one in slow motion in the boys' dormitory, where they've been fighting with pillows and the air is full of feathers. It's a sort of parody or evocation of a Catholic religious procession. In many ways Zero de Conduite is an indignant satirical film, inspired by Vigo's own schooldays, and at the same time it's an intensely poetic one. What's very sympathetic about Vigo is that he was by temperament an anarchist, as any good director should be. His free, lyric spirit runs through the film, so it also acts as a self-portrait like perhaps all the best movies. It's a coincidence that my own film If . . . was made at the time of student revolt in the late Sixties. People imagined it was an illustration of or a complement to that, but it's quite untrue. If . . . was inspired by the personalities of the people who made it. It's not political in that way, it's a film of feeling, and that's what it has in common with Zero de Conduite.

A newly restored version of Jean Vigo's 'Zero de Conduite' is released on video by Artificial Eye ( pounds 12.99).

A season of Sixties films, including 'If . . .' (playing on Monday, 4.00), begins today at the Barbican Cinema (071-638 8891).

Lindsay Anderson was talking to Catriona O'Shaughnessy

(Photograph omitted)

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