Once a year the fair comes for one day to the little town 'Sainte-Severe-sur-Indre'. All inhabitants are scoffing at Francois, the postman, what he seems not to recognize. The rising of the...
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Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction.
A boxer is out in the country with his entourage, training for his next fight. Meanwhile, on the farm nearby, Roger is neglecting his chores. As he watches the boxer and his sparring ... See full summary »
Once a year the fair comes for one day to the little town 'Sainte-Severe-sur-Indre'. All inhabitants are scoffing at Francois, the postman, what he seems not to recognize. The rising of the flagstaff under his direction nearly leads into a catastrophy - but everybody tells him, how important his work is. Sneering up Francois continues in the evening of the festive day. Made drunk, some 'friends' persuade him to watch a short-movie in a tent. This film is a stunt-show, covered as 'The modern delivery-techniques of the US-post. Francois takes it serious, not recognizing being teased. Next day, after getting sober in a goods wagon, he reorganizes his own delivery-methods. He has not the equipment, as his ideals in the short-movie have, but using only his bicycle, he makes good, funny progresses. Written by
Christian Wenger <email@example.com>
Personally, I think Tati's films are hilarious; but they're not to all tastes. Some have told me that they loathe his work. I've never figured out why, but I think it's because the character that Tati usually plays himself is so totally dead pan, so unaffected by the events around him (which he is usually causing) that many miss the more subtle comic bits happening that effectively generate his environment.
At any rate, Tati's main shtick - or at least his best known - is to take a pretentiously upright petite bourgeoisie with 19th century sensibilities and drop him into 20th century France where he must confront a society that is largely defined by the gradual eroding of those sensibilities. He usually has serious difficulties with little things like record players or radios. He's a hazard in a car, but the world's no safer when he rides a bicycle. But through it all, he never loses his aplomb, which is derived from his inner recognition that the nineteenth century was more interesting than the 20th overall.
In this film, the 20th Century is best (or worst) represented by the recurring presence of Americans. Around the time of the release of this film, the French began to worry that the American, who had liberated them from the Germans, might never go away - a worry that remains influential in French politics to this day, and with some justification. Certainly Tati's postman, on his humble bicycle, appears to be no match at all for the Americans in their motor vehicles - except that his innocent buffoonery somehow manages to get the best of them every time.
That give's the film a slight satirical edge, and one which leaves a real impression. Otherwise, we still have the imperturbable Tati, whom "neither rain nor snow nor sleet" - whatever.
Enjoyable and wholly entertaining.
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