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Chronicle of a Summer (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1961)

Marceline Loridan , Mary Lou Parolini , Jean Rouch , Edgar Morin  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Marceline Loridan, Mary Lou Parolini
  • Directors: Jean Rouch, Edgar Morin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2013
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00A8QDI8C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,334 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer of the Cineteca di Bologna restoration of the film, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Un été + 50 (2011), a seventy-three-minute documentary featuring outtakes and new interviews with codirector Edgar Morin and some of the film’s subjects
  • Archival interviews with codirector Jean Rouch and Marceline Loridan, one of the film’s subjects
  • New interview with anthropology professor Faye Ginsburg, organizer of several Rouch retrospectives
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by scholar Sam Di Iorio

  • Editorial Reviews

    Few films can claim to be as influential to the course of cinema history as Chronicle of a Summer. The fascinating result of a collaboration between filmmaker-anthropologist Jean Rouch (Moi, un noir) and sociologist Edgar Morin, this vanguard work of what Morin would term cinéma verité is a brilliantly conceived and realized sociopolitical diagnosis of the early sixties in France. By simply interviewing a group of Paris residents in the summer of 1960—beginning with the provocative and eternal question “Are you happy?” and expanding to political issues, including the ongoing Algerian War—Rouch and Morin reveal the hopes and dreams of a wide array of people, from artists to factory workers, from an Italian émigré to an African student. Chronicle of a Summer’s penetrative approach gives us a document of a time and place with extraordinary emotional depth.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Inventing Cinema Verite February 27, 2013
    Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
    Perhaps few other films are as important to our current cultural moment of reality tv shows as "Chronicle of a Summer." Chronicle of a Summer explicitly asks the audience to consider if it is possible to for people act sincerely in front of a camera.

    The film is comprised of a series of interviews, often grabbing people off the streets and asking them "if they are happy." The interviewees often discuss politics, philosophy and war. In itself, the interviews are a fascinating slice of culture. But the filmmakers then add a fascinating layer to the film by having the subjects watch the video and make commentary on it.

    As you might guess, this meta-film is the stuff of film studies classes. Chronicle of a Summer is credited with heralding a cinema verite movement. Viewers with an interest in film studies and history will be most rewarded by this blu ray.

    I always appreciate Criterion's editions because they allow those of us not currently in school to continue learning. The essay/booklet in particular helps with understanding the many ways that this film is "important."

    The Criterion edition features:
    ---New 2K digital master from the 2011 Cineteca di Bologna restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
    ---"Un été + 50" (2011), a seventy-five-minute documentary featuring outtakes from the film, along with new interviews with codirector Edgar Morin and some of the film's participants
    ---Archival interviews with codirector Jean Rouch and Marceline Loridan, one of the film's participants
    ---New interview with anthropology professor Faye Ginsburg, the organizer of several Rouch retrospectives
    ---New English subtitle translation
    ---PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by scholar Sam Di Iorio
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars the 60s documented in Paris August 15, 2013
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    The 60s changed all of western society and to see it documented in France is a special insight. Now French conservatives cry against the lazy worker but then Renault and French industrialism brutalized that same human robot. It reminds us that even as late as the 1960s France was holding a nation hostage to its whims and tyranny.
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    3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Chronicle of a summer March 29, 2013
    A must see for everybody interested in documentary and direct camera shooting. The film innovated with small-concealed tape recorder, and hand-held 16mm camera shooting techniques that permitted improvisation in a sociological experiment by the unusual collaboration between Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin in the summer of 1960. Jean Rouch was an anthropolog who worked in Africa pioneering film and anthropology since the early 1940 and he became famous for "les Maitres Fous" in 1955 (Crazy Masters). Edgar Morin was known for his study of the star system. The collaboration is intriguing and the film that results from it is fascinating as it takes the pulse of France in the early 1960s, with the movement against torture and colonial war in Algeria, the examination of the aftermath of the horrors of World War ii and the scars it left on the young as well as the delight of being young in 1960 in Paris, France.
    Jean Rouch is a pioneer of the French New Wave.
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    5.0 out of 5 stars Performance rituals of the human tribe September 7, 2014
    Chronicle of a Summer is a testimony to the effect of new technology in filming on the recording of psychological political and sociological life in 1960 in Paris by 2 men, ethnographer/filmmaker Jean Rouch and sociologist, cinephile and left wing activist Edgar Morin.France is undergoing immense changes from post war promise to post colonial reality.Documentary films had great import then,especially cinema-verite, which attempted to implicate the filmmakers in their film as participants using film to provoke "film-truth",or to tack as close to reality, the rhythms of modernity, using hand-held cameras and synchronous sound recording,as they could.

    The film coalesces around a group of young people known to both directors,students,Renault car workers,African students,white collar workers,artists.Some are members of a group called Radical Socialism,of which Morin is a member,2 others part of the Jean network for the independence of Algeria.There is a radical left wing brilliant student,Regis Debray,who is central to a lot of the debates. What links New Wave filmmaking and cinema-verite is the erosion of the distinction between documentary and fiction. 'Chronicle' foregrounds the constructed nature of documentary `reality'. There is no objectivity,no script,but filmmakers provoking situations with groups
    of people or individuals,all non-actors,through round table discussions or interviews.

    There is a real emotional core in 2 females,Mary Lou,the Italian secretary at Cahier du Cinema,and Marceline,the French Jew who survived Auschwitz-Birkenau.There are ties between anticolonial sentiment and the Holocaust narrative.
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