Georges Rouquier

  • Georges Rouquier – Le Tonnelier (1942)

    A short documentary about the life and craft of a French cooper. The main focus is on the two-day process of creating a wine barrel, from nada to completion. Interspersed throughout are little snippets concerning the life of the cooper whose work we follow, like mentioning his daughter’s marriage and his being involved in WWI.Read More »

  • Chris Marker – Lettre de Sibérie (1957)

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    Chris Marker’s ethnographic essay-documentary on Siberia, made in 1957, remains fresh and relevant today. Combining fantasy animation (of woolly mammoths and mammoth buildings) and documentary photography shot by Sacha Vierny, Marker displays above all his amazement at the diversity of Siberia, at once almost pre-historic and post-revolutionary. On the film’s revival at the 1982 New York Film Festival, Village Voice critic Carrie Rickey called it “compassionately detached, playful and eclectic…. What still thrills about Letter from Siberia 25 years after it was made is Marker’s sympathetic ethnography, so much against the grain of the partisan American documentaries of the ’50s where the omniscient voice told you how to read each image.” In one hilarious segment, Marker does include that voice – repeating a scene with a Capitalist-propaganda voice-over and then with a Soviet one.Read More »

  • Georges Rouquier – Farrebique ou Les quatre saisons AKA Farrebique (1946)

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    Quote:
    For one year, from 1944 to 1945, Georges Rouquier shared the life of a peasant family, his own, in the Farrebique farm in Goutrens, in the Rouergue region. He shows us life on a farm, marked by the rhythm of seasons, from harvesting in summer to the grandfather’s rituals of slicing the bread for dinner. The film also dwells on the hardships of life on a farm and the transformation brought on by the arrival of electricity, of modern times. Farrebique reveals the beauty of these people, their closeness to their beasts and to nature, facing an often harsh life. Read More »

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