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Le Joli Mai

Le Joli Mai
Directed by Chris Marker
Produced by Andre Heinrich
Written by Chris Marker, Catherine Varlin
Narrated by Yves Montand
Simone Signoret
Music by Michel Legrand
Cinematography Pierre Lhomme
Étienne Becker
Release dates
  • 1 May 1963 (1963-05-01)
Running time
156 minutes
Country France
Language French

Le Joli Mai is a 1963 French documentary film by Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme.

Beginning in the Spring of 1962, just after the close of the Algerian War and the Évian Accords,[1] Marker and his camera operator Pierre Lhomme shot 55 hours of footage interviewing random people on the streets of Paris.

The questions, asked by the unseen Marker, range from their personal lives, as well as social and political issues of relevance at that time. As he had with montages of landscapes and indigenous art, Marker created a film essay that contrasts and juxtaposes a variety of lives with his signature commentary (spoken by Marker's friends, singer-actor Yves Montand in the French version and Simone Signoret in the English version). The film has been compared to the cinéma vérité films of Jean Rouch, and criticized by its practitioners at the time.[2] It was shown in competition at the 1963 Venice Film Festival, where it won the award for Best First Work. It also won the Golden Dove Award at the Leipzig DOK Festival.

While making Le Joli Mai, Marker was simultaneously making the 1962 science fiction short La Jetee.

It was shown as part of the Cannes Classics section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[3]


  1. ^ Di Iorio, Sam. "Chris Marker: The Truth About Paris". Film Comment. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Wakeman, John. World Film Directors, Volume 2. The H. W. Wilson Company. 1988. 649–654.
  3. ^ "Cannes Classics 2013 line-up unveiled". Screen Daily. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 

External links

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