Considered a key film about the French reaction to the Algerian war, Le Joli Mai, or literally “Lovely May,” is also a tone poem for the French New Wave and many of its concerns, both philosophical and formal. The film’s impetus was the ceasefire between France and Algeria in 1962, ushering in a moment considered by some as “the first spring of peace”—the first time since 1939 that France was not involved in any war. The essay film Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme produced, one of the first to be shot portable 16mm camera with direct sound, is a very personal treatise on the lingering discontent and complexities as reflected in Parisian society at that moment. Although Marker was still alive when the restoration on Le Joli Mai began, he sadly passed away before it was complete. His co-director on the film, Lhomme (one of France’s most renowned cinematographers), supervised the work and the re-edit to bring the documentary closer to what Marker had originally wanted—a lasting tribute that premiered at Cannes in 2013 and is now here in the Twin Cities.
Le Joli Mai screens only twice: Monday and Tuesday, January 6 and 7, 7:00pm both nights.
It’s cold. We know. Come see a movie!