Le Joli Mai (1963) - Rotten Tomatoes

Le Joli Mai (1963)

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Movie Info

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 focus is on how Parisians look at themselves and their everyday lives. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

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Cast

Yves Montand
as Narrator (French version)
Simone Signoret
as Narrator (English version)

Critic Reviews for Le Joli Mai

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

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.

December 5, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

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.

September 11, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Documents on-the-street talks with a wide variety of Paris residents.

September 10, 2013 | Full Review…
Village Voice
Top Critic

The people and cinematography are compelling, and so, by extension, is this 1962 documentary.

January 15, 2014 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…
Movie Metropolis

A distinctive preservation of the lives and thoughts of the people in Paris during May 1962.

December 13, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/5
Film Threat

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.

December 8, 2013 | Full Review…
Arts Fuse

Audience Reviews for Le Joli Mai

It is another man-on-the-street kind of documentary but then it isn't..with extreme political unrest unfolding at the same time, this is a society not at ease with itself. People undertake their day to day activities but with full knowledge that their rights and freedoms may be at risk threatening their existences.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

½

With the documentary "Le Joli Mai," Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme attempt to capture a particular time and place, namely May 1962 in Paris. Sadly for them, nothing much was happening that month, just after Algerian independence. But at least we do get a weather report at one point, along with a musical interlude. On a thematic level, it just comes down to political statements and Marker's continuing fascination with all things cats. Otherwise there are just person on the street interviews which are much more miss than hit, and mostly dull, with the highlights being a couple of Algerian men. In short, this is nowhere near as fluid as some of Marker's later films, and only late do the filmmakers manage something interesting cinematically like the stop motion photography of Paris and the overhead shot of the women's prison where politics again overwhelm the visuals.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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