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Eyes Like Mirrors

ZÉRO DE CONDUITE (Zero for Conduct)

France | 1933 | 41 min | dir: Jean Vigo

Zero for Conduct is a 1933 French featurette directed by Jean Vigo. It was first shown on 7 April 1933, and was subsequently banned in France until 15 February 1946. In the film, four rebellious young boys at a repressive French boarding school plot and execute a revolt against their teachers and take over the school.

The school is wretchedly bad. They serve nothing but beans (everyone calls the cook Mrs. Bean), the teachers are inept, and the dean is a dwarf with a huge beard who keeps his hat under glass. The boys begin by ripping up their bedding, throwing white feathers everywhere. Then Vigo takes the film into slow motion, as the boys line up for a parade. The floating feathers surround them, hanging in the air. Then our three heroes (plus one more) climb up on the roof, and begin pelting teachers with all kinds of debris. Then, they hop-frog along the rooftop to their escape, and run off into the sunset.

The film draws extensively on Vigo’s boarding school experiences to depict a repressive and bureaucratised educational establishment in which surreal acts of rebellion occur, reflecting Vigo’s anarchist view of childhood. The title refers to a grade the boys get which prevents them from going out on Sundays.

An original soundtrack is performed live by the band Eyes Like Mirrors.

SATURDAY - 17:00

EYES LIKE MIRORS is acclaimed cinematic post-rock experimental band from Johannesburg. This four piece band is deep in rhythm, deep in guitar riff and deep in cinema. They are currently working on their first full length LP.

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