Monday, November 18, 2013

Le Joli Mai (1963)

WHO: Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme made this documentary.

WHAT: One of the earliest Chris Marker films I've seen, and one of the best, it's also at 165 minutes one of the longest he made, certainly the longest he'd directed up to this point in his career. A documentary record of Paris during May of 1962, it's a beautiful work that is finally getting more attention after a recent restoration and Cannes screening.  Richard Brody has written an excellent contextualizing piece.

WHERE/WHEN: Screens multiple times daily at the Opera Plaza and the Shattuck, through this Thursday.

WHY: The first of Marker's films to get a full theatrical release in this country since his death last summer, Le Joli Mai is now fifty years old and as relevant as ever. With the Pacific Film Archive in the middle of a retrospective of work by Marker's friend Agnès Varda and this Wednesday showing the latest feature by his one-time collaborator Lynne Sachs (in case you missed it Saturday at Other Cinema, screening along with her Marker-assisting project Three Cheers For the Whale), it's a good week to fan interest in the so-called "Left Bank" filmmakers on bay Area screens.

HOW: The latest restoration is available only digitally.

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