First show: November 23


le_joli_mai“A far-reaching meditation on the relationship between individual and society” (Film Comment), LE JOLI MAI is a portrait of Paris and Parisians during May 1962.
It is a film with several thousand actors including a poet, a student, an owl, a housewife, a stockbroker, a competitive dancer, two lovers, General de Gaulle and several cats. Filmed just after the March ceasefire between France and Algeria, LE JOLI MAI documents Paris during a turning point in French history: the first time since 1939 that France was not involved in any war.

Long unavailable in the U.S. and a major work in the oeuvre of filmmaker Chris Marker (1921-2012), LE JOLI MAI was awarded the International Critics Prize at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival and the “First Work” Prize at the 1963 Venice Film Festival. It premiered in North America in September 1963 at the first New York Film Festival.

This restoration of LE JOLI MAI premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2013, 50 years after the film first premiered there. It was created according to the wishes of Marker, supervised by the film’s cinematographer and co-director, Pierre Lhomme (b. 1930). The film’s music is by the Academy Award-winning composer Michel Legrand, French-language commentary is by renowned singer-actor Yves Montand, and the English-language commentary is by Academy Award-winning actress Simone Signoret.



LE JOLI MAI: Upcoming Showtimes