"During the summer vacation of 1972, Louis Malle set up light and handy film equipment on the sidewalk of the Place de la République – this extended, not exactly beautiful, but very busy square on the boundary between the center of Paris and the eastern peripher-al quarters. Malle's idea was to listen to people on the square – residents as well as chance passers-by – thereby obtaining a kind of self-portrait of "humanity on the Place de la République". But, and this is crucial, not with preformulated questions. On the contrary, Louis Malle used his cameras and microphones themselves as a means of starting conversations, capturing what people say and do when approached, for example with the question "Have you noticed our camera? Do you find it unpleasant or indifferent to be captured on film?" The addressee can shrug his shoulders, signaling that he wants to be left alone, or he can respond (from shyly-hesi-tantly to downright hungrily), which sometimes leads to a long conversation. Cinéma vérité? Reportage for an "ethnology of Paris"? The name does not matter. "Place de la République" is a film whose richness can only be dryly noted here – the masterpiece of a filmmaker who does not use his equipment like a hunting weapon or trap to take possession of life as if of a trophy." Frantz Vossen
Production: Nouvelles Éditions de Films, Paris
World Sales: Pyramide International
Cinematographer: Étienne Becker
Sound: Jean-Claude Laureux
Editor: Suzanne Baron
Format, screen ratio: 16mm, 1:1.37, Color
Running time: 94 Minutes, 24 frames/sec.
Foto: © Nouvelles Editions de Films S.L.