Blu-ray, DVD Release: Chronicle of a Summer

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 26, 2013
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion

Chronicle of a Summer movie sceneThe 1961 French documentary Chronicle of a Summer is the fascinating result of a collaboration between filmmaker-anthropologist Jean Rouch (Moi, un noir) and sociologist Edgar Morin.

An influential vanguard work of what Morin would term cinéma verité is an undeniably well-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.

Ultimately, Chronicle of a Summer’s penetrative approach ultimately delivers a document of a time and place with extraordinary depth and substance. Not surprisingly, the film is now a staple in college film courses and has become a model for many, many documentaries over the past half-century.

Presented in French with English subtitles, the Criterion DVD and Blu-ray include the following 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
· A booklet featuring an essay by scholar Sam Di Iorio



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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.