Chronique d’Un Ete

I can’t say I’m surprised that this film is unavailable for rental from Lovefilm. It’s essentially a collection of interviews with various Parisians in 1960, being asked whether they are happy, and discussing topics including life, success, wealth and race. As an insight into life there and then it is interesting, but only in how it highlights the differences and similarities between the inhabitants of the same city. It all gets bit meta later on, when the directors, an anthropologist and a sociologist, discuss how the film has been limited up to that point, before showing the film to the people interviewed within it. Their reaction to the documentary is included as part of the film, as is the directors subsequent discussion of the reaction of the film, and the difficulties they have had making it. Many years before commentaries and behind the scene footage was popular, these two were self-analysing and critiquing the film they were making, whilst they were making it, and filming it as they went, to be included in the very film they were analysing. It’s the kind of moebius-strip film-making that could good on forever, but thankfully doesn’t.

Choose life 5/10
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