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Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme's LE JOLI MAI (The Lovely Month of May) is a portrait of Paris and Parisians 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. Written by
I recently saw this at the Siskel Theater with no real expectations, and I think I can safely say that this film could quite possibly be the worst film I've ever seen. I was fortunate (unfortunate?) enough to have attended a screening which was presented by a documentary film maker who cited the brilliance of Marker's work in regards to how it captured Paris during a pivotal and emotional moment-- by portraying on the screen everyday citizens engaged in conversations ranging from the whimsical to more serious, you get a great picture of life in Paris during this time.
Nope. This movie is essentially Chris Marker jerking himself off in front of the camera for nearly two and a half hours. Between the self indulgent 'poems', the still shots which have no coherence, and the utter lack of an interviewing style other than Marker trying to undermine absolutely everything anyone says, it is clear from the outset Marker has no interest in anything other than showing how self important he is.
I enjoy challenging films and documentaries, do not get me wrong. This film, however, is an absolute mess. There is no coherence-- interviews have very little structure, which in many ways is interesting, however, when they serve little purpose other than for the interviewer to undermine his interviewees and impose his 'intelligence' you have a problem. When the interviews are haphazard and uninteresting, the editing rough, 'artistic' shots which serve no purpose other than to draw out the length of the film are prevalent, and an utter lack of rhyme or reason predominate throughout a film you have a serious problem.
There will probably be some people who enjoy this film, and that's okay. I, however, feel as though it was utter vomit.
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