|Chronicle of a Summer|
Chronicle of a Summer (1961)
d. Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin
Criterion Collection #648
OK so this is a "cinema verite" film that features interviews with a variety of people in Paris and I think St. Tropez as well. The handheld camera was introduced to the market while this film was being made, and the use of hand held cameras in Chronicle of a Summer would prove to be a turning point in the development of the film documentary. I wasn't expecting Chronicle of a Summer to be particularly watchable, but I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting the slice-of-life conversations were. In particular there are conversations about race and the holocaust held between a young, Jewish French concentration survivor, two African-French immigrants and some young French men and women that I found particularly compelling.
More then just a museum piece, Chronicle of a Summer is a must for anyone interested in the documentary as a separate art form from the narrative film, for people interested in the French new wave and a "pass" for everyone else. For anyone interested, the essay featured on the Criterion Collection product page is a must: One of the more thorough and in depth accompanying essays I've read and that is really saying something because all the essays on the Criterion Collection site are superb.