Jacques Tati – Jour de fête AKA The Village Fair [1964 re-edited version] (1949)

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Synopsis
Jacques Tati’s award-winning feature début – a dazzling blend of satire and slapstick is early evidence of his unique talent. Acclaimed by international critics as an innovative comic masterpiece, Jour de fête is an hilarious exposé of the modern obsession with speed and efficiency, set amidst the rural surroundings of a tiny French village. Tati plays an appealingly self-deluded buffoon a postman who, impressed by the bristling efficiency of the American postal system, makes a wholly misguided attempt to introduce modern methods in the depths of rural France. Continue reading

Jacques Tati – Play Time [+Extras] (1967)

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Synopsis

“Criterion” wrote:
Jacques Tati’s gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in the age of technology reached their creative apex with Playtime. For this monumental achievement, a nearly three-year-long, bank-breaking production, Tati again thrust the endearingly clumsy, resolutely old-fashioned Monsieur Hulot, along with a host of other lost souls, into a bafflingly modernist Paris. With every inch of its superwide frame crammed with hilarity and inventiveness, Playtime is a lasting testament to a modern age tiptoeing on the edge of oblivion. Continue reading

Jacques Tati – Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot AKA Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday [Director’s Cut, Restored] (1953)

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Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday was the film that brought Tati international acclaim. It also launched his on-screen alter ego, the courteous, well-meaning, eternally accident-prone Monsieur Hulot, with whom Tati would from now on be inseparably associated. Chaos ensues when a sleepy French coastal resort is invaded by holidaymakers in energetic pursuit of fun. As the prologue to this comedy warns us, there is little plot, but instead a seamless succession of gently mocking studies in human absurdity. (BFI) Continue reading

Jacques Tati – Jour de fête [Full Colour] (1949)

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In Jacques Tati’s charming – and essentially plotless – pre-Hulot first feature, Tati is Francois, a contented and happy postman in a small, unhurried French village. Francois is at ease with his job and leisurely performs his duties, peddling away on his rounds upon his beloved bicycle. Things perk up when a traveling carnival arrives in town. One of the attractions at the carnival is a film depicting the United States Postal Service’s fast and efficient postal delivery system. The narrator in the film exhorts, “Rapidite, rapidite.” Francois takes up the call, and attempts to Americanize his work style. Continue reading