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319 Ratings

Le joli mai

France, 1963
Documentary, Avant-Garde


Documentary about Paris and the attitudes of Parisians at the height of the Algerian crisis during May 1962, the first springtime of peace after the ceasefire with Algeria and the first time in 23 years that France was not involved in any war.

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Le joli mai Directed by Chris Marker, Pierre Lhomme
…The sardonic contrast of frivolity with seriousness, between those who confront matters of broad, enduring, and practical significance with those who ignore them in the interest of pleasure, suggests a mechanical and material connection between public and private life that’s far simpler than the one offered by Rouch and Morin.
September 20, 2013
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What Marker and Lhomme seem to be doing is establishing not whether happiness exists in the jolly month of May of 1962, but probing the context that happiness would exist against, possibly in opposition thereof… As he does in all of his best works, Marker constantly scans the fluctuations of human behavior with the clarity of a poet.
September 10, 2013
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Marker is a dialectician of mood, of place, of history, and of his relationship to others and to himself. Le Joli Mai is a personal film—the evocation of the owl and the cat, Marker’s “familiars,” makes that immediately apparent—but in the interviews that are the core of the work, he never treats his subjects as mere foils, even when their narrowness and narcissism anger him.
September 04, 2013
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