Atomic Age wins Prix Jean Vigo
by Fabien Lemercier
11/05/2012 - Last night, the 61st Prix Jean Vigo, an award that recognises independence of spirit and stylistic originality, was handed out to Atomic Age [trailer, film focus] by Héléna Klotz. Her first feature follows two adolescents (played by Elliot Paquet and Dominique Wojcik) wandering around Paris over the course of a night. The film was also a winner at the Angers Premiers Plans Film Festival this January, and was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize at the Panorama of the last Berlinale (read the review).
Made up of former winners, critics, and exhibitors, the Jean Vigo jury stated that the young filmmaker had tackled “a subject explored by films all over the world, but with the ability to avoid stereotypes and to surprise the spectator.” Produced by Kidam with the support of Arte France, the film notably stands out for exceptional night-time lighting by director of photography Hélène Louvard.
A special mention went to Jeanne Balibar and Pierre Léon for Par exemple, Electre (Pierre Grise Productions) "which shatters many assumptions and offers us a beautiful lesson in cinematic freedom”, and an honorary Prix Jean Vigo was awarded to Agnès Varda.
As for short films, the winners were, jointly, Louis Garrel for La Règle de trois and Vincent Dietschy for La Vie parisienne "whose films explore the sentimental map of three-way couples in modern, different ways".
In past years, Prix Jean Vigo winners have included filmmakers like Claude Chabrol, Maurice Pialat, Alain Resnais, Jean-Luc Godard, Olivier Assayas, or even Bruno Dumont. This edition was dedicated to late filmmaker Laurent Perrin.
(Translated from French)