All is calm in this little village in the center of France until the fairground entertainers arrive with their trailers. Then the fair gets under way: a carousel, lottery, brass band and a traveling cinema where François, the local postman, discovers a film about the American postal service. Encouraged by the whole village, he sets out to deliver the mail “American Style.” Jacques Tati’s first feature length film is an absolute “must see” for its inventiveness and unique comic style.
Filmmaker and actor Jacques Tati reinvented the art of slapstick comedy, expertly dissecting the nature of sight gags and pratfalls while exploiting viewer expectations to create an ambitious, richly detailed cinematic parlor game perfect for exploring the infinite mysteries of the modern world. Born Jacques Tatischeff October 9, 1908, in Le Pecq, France; Tati mounted his first film short, the comedy Oscar, Champion du Tennis, in 1931, but never saw the project through to its completion. His subsequent early work, including 1934’s On Demande une Brute, 1935’s Gai Dimanche, and 1936’s Soigne ton Gauche, presaged his later features in their fascination with natural and mechanical sounds. The outbreak of World War II, which he spent stationed in the village of Sainte-Sévère-sur-Indre, brought Tati’s career to a temporary halt, and after completing the 1938 short Retour à la terre, he did not appear before the camera again prior to Claude Autant… read more
Tati's featue debut was a sublime expansion of his earlier short School For Postmen. When the fair arrives in a sleepy French town, amongst the usual attractions is a tent showing a film about the US postal service which is observed by Tati's bumbling postman. After much teasing by locals he is inspired to improve the town's own postal service. I found the film to be thoroughly beguiling, inventive and very funny....
Alors. The opening gala film at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival, The Illusionist is an animated film by Sylvain Chomet, who