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... See full summary »
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 »
Captured French Resistance fighter Andre Devigny awaits a certain death sentence for espionage in a stark Nazi prison. Facing malnourishment and paralyzing fear, he must engineer an ... See full summary »
Charles Le Clainche,
In the Paris of the late 19th century, Louise, wife of a general, sells the earrings her husband gave her as a wedding gift: she needs money to cover her debts. The general secretly buys ... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
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, because although his intensions are good, they always turn out catastrophically. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
Tati had discovered Saint- Marc sur Mer whilst staying with friends. A statue of Hulot stands on the promenade overlooking the beach. See more »
The man being served a drink in the hotel wears a dark ascot; when the waiter gives him the drink, he is wearing a light-colored ascot. See more »
Mr. Hulot is off for a week by the sea. Take a seat behind his camera, and you can spend it with him. Don't look for a plot, for a holiday is meant purely for fun, and if you look for it, you will find more fun in ordinary life than in fiction.
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It's probably easy to see this as just a relatively late occurrence of classic slapstick. In fact, the slapstick dimension is quite masterful. But there's a lot more to this movie than the comedic value of seeing someone get kicked. Part of the charm comes from the structure of the movie. Instead of a linear narrative or a series of sketches, it's a multi-dimensional portrait of different aspects of human nature. The "point" of the movie, if there is one (there's more likely a large array of "points" in this apparently simple comedy), isn't put out ostentatiously throughout the film. For instance, if Tati intended to admonish people to have some fun in life, it's not by showing how Hulot's having fun but by showing the respect fun may have with some people. There's also the purely aesthetic pleasure derived from a well-crafted movie. This one's fluid enough that nothing appears superfluous, from sun rays passing between drapes to one of Hulot's "accidental" gestures. Of course, there's a nostalgic value in watching such a movie. Not for 1950s France but for another era, however long ago, when insouciance might have been acceptable.
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