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Chronicle of a Summer (1961)

Chronique d'un été (Paris 1960) (original title)
Not Rated | | Documentary | 20 October 1961 (France)
A documentary about the everyday lives of ordinary Parisians, done in the style of cinéma vérité.

Directors:

Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Angelo Angelo ... Himself
Nadine Ballot Nadine Ballot ... Herself (as Nadine)
Catherine Catherine ... Elle-même - une artiste
Céline Céline ... Elle-même - une étudiante
Régis Debray Régis Debray ... Himself (as Régis)
Henri Henri ... Lui-mêm - un artiste
Jacques Jacques ... Himself
Jean Jean ... Lui-même - un ouvrier
Jean-Marc Jean-Marc ... Lui-même - un étudiant
Landry Landry ... Himself
Marceline Loridan Ivens Marceline Loridan Ivens ... Herself (as Marceline)
Madi Madi ... Elle-même - une artiste
Edgar Morin ... Himself
Marilù Parolini Marilù Parolini ... Herself (as Mary-Lou)
Raymond Raymond ... Lui-même - un étudiant
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Storyline

Real-life individuals discuss topics on society, happiness in the working class among others and with those testimonies the filmmakers create fictional moments based on their interviews. Later on, the individuals discuss the images created with their own words and see if the movie obtained their level of reality. Written by Rodrigo Amaro

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The key work of the controversial new school of CINEMA-VERITE

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

20 October 1961 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Chronicle of a Summer See more »

Filming Locations:

Ramatuelle, Var, France See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Argos Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the 15 favorite documentaries of cinematographer Roger Deakins. [2015] See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jean Rouch, Himself: This film was made without actors, but lived by men and women who devoted some of their time to a novel experiment of "cinéma vérité."
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Camera That Changed the World (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rouch and the Intersubjective Reality
11 March 2014 | by ilpohirvonenSee all my reviews

Jean Rouch is remembered as an oddity in film history, an artist working in between of fact and fiction as well as the era of colonialism and post-colonialism. He is especially often crowned as the founder of ethnographic cinema, but "Chronicle of a Summer" (1961) made by Rouch and Edgar Morin is something a little different. It is the breakthrough film of cinéma vérite or "truth cinema" which had a huge impact on the following French New Wave, most of whose filmmakers admired Rouch.

Already in his earliest documentaries, Rouch isolates himself from his own time by focusing on engagement and immersion instead of observation. Interaction between the observer and his object -- or rather between subjects -- becomes vital. As vital is embracing the presented subjects' personal and collective world views, which form a fascinating entirety in Rouch's "I, a Black Man" (1958). In a word, the other and the self are of the same reality to Rouch.

Although a representative of so-called truth cinema, Rouch and Morin's film does not concern any epistemic and scientific truth, but rather the truth of the appearance of the intersubjective reality. The camera takes part in action, ceases to exist, but at the same is inseparably present. A fabric of real emotions, thoughts, lies and acts is born which can be taken as a truth of one kind. On the one hand, Rouch and Morin attempt to revolutionize the cinema or at least to turn its lens to itself, but on the other, their sociological mission is to find out how does the modern man live. Hence they ask "Are you happy?" from random people in the streets.

Rouch's "The Human Pyramid" (1961) might be more well organized, though utterly poetic, than "Chronicle of a Summer", but the latter is more essay-like which also associates it with the new wave. The remarks of the meta-level are not as detached from the rest of the film as in "The Human Pyramid", but still fact and fiction merge in an essential fashion.

However, Rouch didn't only affect new wave filmmakers for his cinematic methods but also for his image of the world and man. There is indeed great human beauty in the film. During the interviews and other scenes, the camera becomes a penetrating mirror to whom one can reveal all of one's secrets. Perhaps this also happens to the viewer in a lesser extent. On one level, Rouch and Morin reveal the need to talk and share in an individualistic society. On the other, they tell something enduring about man, life and cinema.


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