Parade differs markedly from Tati’s other five films, most notably in that it has no plot, no apparent structure and is closer in form to the style of a documentary. The film is deceptively simple, depicting a circus show with the minimum of cinematic embellishment. In Parade, Tati completely removes the boundary between spectator and performer. The reactions and contributions of the audience are as much a part of the film as the circus acts are, making the point that without an audience, art would have no value and no meaning. The art of comedy is not to get an audience to laugh at you; it is to get an audience to love you – and this is what Tati achieved, with effortless brilliance, throughout his career. –Ghent FIlm Festival
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
Disappointing final film from Tati. It still has some good moments though. In theory this is the ideal Tati film, a movie about a circus and its audience. There are some perfect Tati moments that are ruined by bluntness. Seeing these makes you realize just how important the distance Tati keeps the camera from his subjects is. A lot of the film is like a straight documentary. Tati at his worst but I'm glad I saw it.
Tati's last film is in my opinion also his weakest. It must have been a very personal project for him, showing us the place where he got started in the 1930s. But for me the film just doesn't have the same drive and confidence as his earlier work and ends up leaving almost nothing behind after viewing it. I liked some scenes in it and the nostalgia in the air but I don't see much replay value.