Another people-watching documentary by Malle, after Humain, trop humain and its portrait of an automobile factory and its workers. Malle and a small crew filmed (often covertly) on a street in Paris for some weeks, doing brief interviews and basically just capturing slices of real life. Plenty of interesting "characters," although at times it felt like a segment of Candid Camera.
The most urbane of documentaries, a favorite of mine. Nothing can drop you in 1970's Paris in the way that Place de la république can. This is exactly what it feels like to live in a world city. Anyone with preconceived notions who hasn't lived in a large city should watch. I love the way Malle approached conversation in the entire film, he is so gentle. He is the greatest kind of filmmaker; curious yet respectful.