Edgar Morin and Jean Rouch

Edgar Morin & Jean Rouch – Chronique d’un été AKA Chronicle of a Summer (1961)

The most famous passage from Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s self-proclaimed “experiment in film-truth” (i.e., cinema verité, a term the directors coined) involves a young woman prowling the streets of Paris with a microphone and a simple question: “Are you happy?” This was a bold prompt to put to any face in 1960, let alone a working-class one; “quality of life” wouldn’t become a quantifiable concept in the social sciences for another decade. But what precedes this vox-pop set piece enhances its ambition even further; in a brief, seldom-discussed scene, the young woman glances bashfully at the camera while the directors determine her willingness to participate in their film. Read More »