hal ve gidiş sıfır / zéro de conduite – jean vigo 1933
jean vigo’ nun filmi , merkezi söyleme, okul-öğretmen diktasına karşı vurulmuş müthiş bir yumruk, bir özgürleşme zaferidir.
zero de conduite, vigo’nun ilk konulu filmidir ve otobiyografik yapıya sahip gerçekçi bir filmdir. görünüşte sık sık yerleşik törel değerlerin dışına çıkmalarına rağmen, içlerindeki saflıkla ahlakın doruklarına ulaşan bir çocuk dünyasının sinemaya yansımasıdır. yatılı öğrenciler açısından ahlak ya da hal ve gidiş notu, sadece pazar günleri dışarıya izinli çıkabilmenin bir aracıdır. ancak vigo’nun çocukları, vigo’nun gerçek yaşamında öğrendiği gibi, ahlakın bir not sorunu olmayacağını algılamışlardır.
bu filmin çoğu çocuk filminden üstün yanıysa, büyüklerin gözüyle çocuk dünyasını yansıtmaya çalışmak yerine; çocuk gözüyle bozulmamış bir çocuk evreninin ta kendisi olabilmesindedir.
hal ve gidiş sıfır’ı fransız hükümeti ülke için sakıncalı sayarak 12 sene yasaklamıştır. yasak 1945’de kaldırılmıştır.
the summer holidays over, a troupe of schoolboys return to their much-loathed boarding school. although they find a sympathetic friend in the new athletics teacher, who amuses them with his chaplin impressions, the children are ill-treated and unhappy. they are tyrannised by the school’s prim dwarfish principal and forced to live on a diet of green beans. in the end they have no choice but to rebel…
the film, based on vigo’s own unhappy school day experiences, was only vigo’s third film and his first fictional work. of his four films, it is probably the one which is perhaps the most honest reflection of the man himself and shows how tragically ahead of his time he was – tragically because the world was no yet ready for his radical approach to cinema and he died decades before he his work was finally recognised. vigo’s anarchist background and outspoken views are vividly represented (vigo’s own father was a notorious anarchist who died in jail when vigo was at the age of 12).
there are so many magic moments in this film, too many to enumerate. the pint-sized principal is deliciously tyrannical, the very essence of authoritarian self-importance. in fact all of the adults in this film are presented as outrageously exaggerated caricatures, just as the schoolchildren might see them. this is very much a child’s view of the school system as they see it. so, it is with the brutalised and rebellious children that we are compelled to sympathise with, just as we are invited to revile and laugh at the grown-ups.
the greatest moment in the film is the unforgettable dormitory fight. feathers raining down like confetti, the scene of anarchy melts into a stately dream-like procession. vigo seems to be saying that peace and enlightenment can be attained only by brutally tearing down the old order. in doing so, he is unwittingly giving a cue to the french film directors of the new wave to do precisely that with french cinema. it can’t be denied that vigo had a tremendous influence on the new wave and french cinema in general. (truffaut’s les quatre cents coups lends so much to zéro de conduite that it might almost be considered a remake of that film – in style if not in content.)
although most of the cast were amateur actors (vigo could only afford to hire four profession actors), the film benefits from some credible acting performances. whether it was because of vigo’s direction, or boris kaufman’s photography, or because the actors were genuinely talented, some of the scenes in this film are acutely moving. even when they finally resort to anarchy, the schoolboys are always presented in a positive light and they never for one moment lose our affection. by contrast, the adults running the school appear progressively more hideous as the film progresses.
we should also not forget the contribution made by maurice jaubert, who provided one of his most memorable scores for this film. for the aforementioned procession in the dormitory, he provided music which was played backwards, from a score written in reverse. the result is a haunting unreal air which has a perfect synthesis with the eerie slowed-down pictures we are watching.
needless to say, vigo’s film of rebellion in a boarding school was too much for the authorities at the time. after its first showing in 1933 there was an immediate outcry and fears that it might result in civil unrest caused the film to be banned. the ban remained in force until 1945, after which zéro de conduite finally received the appraisal and status it merited. it is now regarded as one of the most significant films in the history of cinema.