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November 1999, Week 5


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Martin F Norden <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 29 Nov 1999 17:24:17 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (56 lines)
**apologies for cross-postings**

Hello, all.  One of my undergraduate students recently submitted a paper
on Jean Vigo's _Zero for Conduct_, and I fear that parts of it may have
been plagiarized.  I would like to call on the collective wisdom of this
list's membership to help me identify the possible source(s) for this
paper's unattributed statements.  Here are some sample quotations from the
paper that contain no documentation:

"In 1933, the young and talented director Jean Vigo was forced to overcome
many obstacles constant [sic] in the path of his film, _Zero for Conduct_.
Many of these challenges dealt with the fact that Vigo was relying
heavily on improvisation, and, for the most part, was merely inventing
scenes as the filming proceeded. ... Still another of these barriers was
the fact that Vigo so closely identified with many of the characters in
the film, and it soon became obvious that Vigo was using _Zero for
Conduct_ as a vehicle to make public the abominations that many children
bear in the face of authority.  However, by far the largest and most
formidable of these tasks involved scaling an insurmountable wall of
censorship by the French government, the clergy, and the media."

"As the film moves forward, the viewer will notice that, typical of young
boys, Tabard, being new, is teased for being 'frail' and 'girl-like.'  It
is not so far into the film after this that the viewer will begin to
realize that Tabard is Vigo himself, emotionally and physically
reconstructed in his childhood."

"When _Zero for Conduct_ was released in 1933, it was met with a variance
of critical judgments, with the majority of these being negative."

"It is obvious that one of the main themes of _Zero for Conduct_ is
rebellion against authority.  Equally as well known were Vigo's political
opinions -- sympathetic with the Soviet Union and the communist regime,
but also no where near combative, and, more often than not, annoyed by
politics.  These two aggravations alone were cause enough for the French
government to cry anarchist themes."

I have examined several texts on Vigo and French cinema in my school's
library but have found nothing that matches these statements.  If they
ring any bells with you, please reply to me off-list at
<[log in to unmask]>.  I would appreciate any leads.

Marty Norden
          Martin F. Norden
  OO      Dept. of Communication, Box 34815      [log in to unmask]
  [_]<|   University of Massachusetts-Amherst    fax: 413 545-6399
  /|\     Amherst, MA  01003-4815      USA       vox: 413 545-0598, -1311
                home page:

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