Pipe-smoking Monsieur Hulot, Jacques Tati’s endearing clown, takes a holiday at a seaside resort where his presence provokes one catastrophe after another. Tati’s wildly funny satire of vacationers determined to enjoy themselves includes a series of precisely choreographed sight gags involving dogs, boats, and firecrackers. The first entry in the Hulot series is a masterpiece of gentle slapstick. –The Criterion Collection
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
My first Tati, thanks to my girlfriends father, who is a big fan. Overwhelmed by the precision with which shots are organised. Contrasting realistic settings, in which people appear far more artificial than object. Systems of conventions of social interaction falling apart because of tiny malfunctions.
As Pierre Etaix’s films finally get shown in the US, a look at Etaix’s illustrations for Jacques Tati and at the posters for his own films.
Alors. The opening gala film at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival, The Illusionist is an animated film by Sylvain Chomet, who
Monsieur Hulot goes on a holiday to a seaside resort, but accidents and misunderstandings follow him where ever he goes. The peace and quiet of the hotel guests don’t last very long with Hulot around… read review
Hulot est assurément notre Chaplin, avec un peut d’absurdité pour remplacer le sentimentalisme, mais le même travail sur la démarche et le même art du cinéma. C’est aussi bien. Ca fonctionne merveilleusement… read review
Janus Films has been touring a newly restored, newly struck 35 mm print of this charming film. It looks great! The movie retains it’s charm, humor and wry insight. I think many of the gags could have… read review