on the idyllic beaches of saint-nazaire (former WWII submarine base turned into a seaside resort - bitter aftertaste) tati's overgrown don quijote provokes the conservative maritime society with his involuntary offensive featuring loud jazz, fireworks, etc.
I finally got on the same wavelength as Tati. It took me a while. Really didn't understand what the fuss was about at all until it just plain suddenly clicked. Light, sweet, nostalgic, tender and charming. It's not funny the way Chaplin and Keaton are funny but somehow it just makes me feel good. For those having a hard time getting into this, I'd recommend reading Ebert's Great Movies essay on the film.
Another amiable comedy from director/star Jacques Tati - the first to feature his classic character Mr. Hulot. There are a handful of brilliant comic moments, but they are surprisingly few and far between - it's too slow-paced and easy-going to generate the energy it needs to be the comedy classic of its reputation. Tati would have greater success with later Hulot films, particularly 'Playtime'.
The laconic humuor of this film makes Tati's work timeless. Also his work with sounds and language is remarkable: The real means to tell the story are the carefully arranged sounds - the whole film is a sound collage. In contrast the first real spoken words are uttered after 11 minutes, but the people mostly use formulas of everyday communication without real content.
After (yet another) rewatch, this time on the big screen, a film that continues to hold up as one of the genuine masterpieces of comedic cinema. The sense of timing, the intricacy, the attention to the minute, the pure charm and the gentle satire are all brought together in a nostalgic blend of happenings and chance encounters to create one of the funniest, sweetest and most endearing films ever made. 5/5
It took me a while to get into this film, but once it was a quarter in, I was smitten. This is just as good as any of the Tati films, filled with bold visuals, and inovative concepts. A truely endearing comedy.