Zero for Conduct (Zero de Conduite)
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Zero for Conduct (Zero de Conduite)
The shortest of French filmmaker Jean Vigo's two feature-length films, Zero for Conduct (Zero de Conduite) is also arguably his most influential. The overtly autobiographical plotline takes place at a painfully strict boys' boarding school, presided over by such petit-bourgeous tyrants as a discipline-dispensing dwarf. The students revolt against the monotony of their daily routine by erupting into a outsized pillow fight. Their final assault occurs during a prim-and-proper school ceremony, wherein the headmasters are bombarded with fruit. Like all of Vigo's works, Zero for Conduct… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"From a modern perspective it seems delightful rather than revolutionary, dangerous and subversive."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A wholly original creation, the film walks a narrow line between surrealist farce and social realism."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Pretty great, but also overwhelming: Vigo clearly had a good 80 or 90 minutes worth of movie that he had to fit into half the running time."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"One of the greatest films about children ever made and a haunting celebration of anarchic rebellion."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Vigo's anarchic, disorienting vision of life in a French boarding school."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"It's surreal and zany anarchistic slapstick, filmed as if Charlie Chaplin was a teacher in the dreaded suburban boys' boarding school."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"One of the most haunting and influential films ever made about childhood, Vigo's feature protests rigid authority and celebrates anarchic revolution. This personal film influenced two other great works: Truffaut's 400 Blows and Lindsay Anderson's If."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"It's Vigo's most personal work... unrefined, reckless, and sloppy."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"These amorphous scenes, strung together by a vague continuity may be art but they are also pretty chaotic."
‑ A.H. Weiler, New York Times
"a funny, fantastical exaggeration of childhood exuberance and adult idiocy"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"Compelling and influential, a fascinating film and essential viewing for film history enthusiasts."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for Zero for Conduct (Zero de Conduite) on Rotten Tomatoes