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

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
"The people and cinematography are compelling, and so, by extension, is this 1962 documentary."
‑ James Plath, Movie Metropolis
"A revelatory restoration."
‑ James Verniere, Boston Herald
"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."
‑ Jamie S. Rich, Oregonian
"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."
‑ Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
"A distinctive preservation of the lives and thoughts of the people in Paris during May 1962."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
""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."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Penetrates to the Parisian soul."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Documents on-the-street talks with a wide variety of Paris residents."
‑ Aaron Cutler, Village Voice
"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."
‑ Gerald Peary, Arts Fuse
"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."
‑ Sam Adams, The Dissolve
"As he does in his best works, Chris Marker constantly scans the fluctuations of human behavior with the clarity of a poet."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Le Joli Mai on Rotten Tomatoes