Louis Malle’s documentary on the lives of farmers in Glencoe, Minnesota, contains many intimate portraits and captures the feel of small town American life in the late 70s and mid 80s. There’s an honesty to the people shown here and the filmmaker neither exploits or mocks them. Malle just seems happy to have existed with them for a small moment in time.
A short documentary about the Tour de France that features some playful uses of sound design and narrative style editing techniques. Works as a great snapshot of this moment in time.
Vincent Canby is obviously smarter than me.
A documentary that proves the most interesting people in the world are those that you pass daily on the street. Watch it for free here, then read this.
French filmmaker Louse Malle’s seven-hour documentary series on his journey to India is equal parts frustrating, enlightening, discouraging and always fascinating. You can watch the entire series here. I found the chapters “A Look at Castes” and “On the Fringes of Indian Society” to be the most engaging.
The most intriguing aspects of Louis Malle’s documentaries are often the voice of the filmmaker himself. This is sorely lacking in “Calcutta,” an accompanying piece to his seven chapter series, “Phantom India.” Watch the latter.
The final entry in Criterion’s Eclipse series of Louis Malle’s documentaries looks at immigration to the United States and the presumed ‘melting pot’ it creates. While it would nearly impossible to cover all nations and races, Malle comes as close as I think one could realistically achieve. His film is engaging and entertaining, brining to light many of the eccentricities and unique qualities found in a country filled with people from all over the world. Watch it for free here.
After immersing myself in the documentaries of French filmmaker Louis Malle, it felt only fitting to start checking out his narrative work. The crime thriller, “Elevator the Gallows” features a story with a great narrative hook and boasts an incredible soundtrack by Miles Davis. Many of the plot’s more mystery-based elements don’t fully land their mark due to the general sophistication of modern audiences, but there’s more than enough 1950s French style and atmospheric touches to make this film more than worth your time.