Chronicle of a Summer (1961)
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Critic Reviews for Chronicle of a Summer
Audience Reviews for Chronicle of a Summer
1961, not 1965, you IDIOTS! As far as the movie goes, it's different enough. I don't really like any of the participants necessarily, and am not sure if they were real people or actors (never trust the French, no matter what they tell you).
A landmark in the history of cinema. One of the most fascinating documentaries ever made. Rouch and Morin's sociological experiment follows a group of Parisians from various walks of life during the Algerian War. Like Man With a Movie Camera, this is a fully self reflexive documentary. The filmmakers do not seek to be invisible like the American direct cinema of Pennebaker, Maysles, Leacock, etc. but actively appear on camera to interact with the subjects of the film, even bringing many of these people together to socialize and reveal things about their lives (there's even a Jean Pierre Leaud lookalike). This gives the film a very intimate and warm atmosphere. One of the goals of the experiment as said by the filmmakers in the beginning was to see if people behaved differently in the presence of a camera, whether people behave normally or act. In the penultimate scene where the people watch scenes of themselves in the film, argumnents arise over whether the subjects were acting or exposed themselves too much to the camera, even the ones who are filmed are not sure if they were acting or not. The films leaves many unanswered questions of the ability for a film to represent a person truthfully, to capture reality.
One of the most probing searches for truth that documentary film has given us, with sequences of beauty and emotion to rival just about anything else on film.
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