Once a year the fair comes for one day to the little town 'Sainte-Severe-sur-Indre'. All inhabiters are scoffing at Francois, the postman, what he seems not to recognize. The rising of the ... See full summary »
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 »
On the eve of her 16th birthday, Sylvie's father needs cash to stay in his castle so he sells Sylvie's favorite thing, a painting of Alain, the lover of Sylvie's grandmother, killed in a ... See full summary »
Monsieur Hulot has to contact an American official in Paris, but he gets lost in the maze of modern architecture which is filled with the latest technical gadgets. Caught in the tourist ... See full summary »
Once a year the fair comes for one day to the little town 'Sainte-Severe-sur-Indre'. All inhabiters 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>
The movie was originally filmed in Thomson-color, a process that became extinct before prints of the film could be shown and was previously only available in a black and white version that was filmed as a precaution, in case the color process was not perfect. In 1995 the color copy was restored and published by Tati's daughter Sophie Tatischeff, and cinematographer François Ede. See more »
The bicycle used by Francois gets a mention in the opening credits, along with the featured players: Peugeot model 1911. See more »
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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