Le Joli Mai (1963)
Average Rating: 8.7/10
Reviews Counted: 10
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 1
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Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0
Average Rating: 4.2/5
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In this non-traditional documentary about Paris, instead of covering the usual sights and sounds of the city, writer/director Chris Marker takes his film crew to the street and interviews people on the spot and in their homes. Comments range from the French-Algerian conflict and the stock market to everyday problems of housing, homelessness, working conditions and moral and religious observations. Although the classic art and culture that made Paris famous worldwide is discussed, the primary
Jan 1, 1963 Wide
Nov 26, 2013
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What helps make Marker and Lhomme's documentary all the more remarkable is its occurring at a moment in history whose specialness only became evident later.
It's never fully uninflected like authentic vérité, but the material gets at a kind of truth: the chatty anxieties of shopkeepers, passersby, mothers and sons, all grappling with the changing world of May 1962.
Documents on-the-street talks with a wide variety of Paris residents.
Dare I say so about a film by the much-admired Marker? It's only mildly interesting. Quite a disappointment considering that it's out of circulation for half a century.
"Le Joli Mai (The Beautiful Month of May)" gives an historic insight into France during its evolution from colonial power to the socialist democracy it would become.
Marker set out to make a social document, a record and an examination of where his fellow Parisians' heads were. But more than what they thought, Le Joli Mai is interested in how they thought.
At nearly three hours, "Le Joli Mai" meanders, but it remains potent when it gets personal, even if the political aspects can seem a little dated.
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