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If you do not have the time or money to travel back to 1953 to spend a
French holiday, you might as well just watch M. Hulot's Holiday.
Honestly holidays are stressful and barely ever as good as you want
them to be anyway, while this movie was much more than I expected it to
The humor in the film is warm, never condescending or patronizing to the characters. There is always the sense of fun. The movie really sells itself to me by not making Mr. Hulot a buffoon alone in the crowd. Circumstance and happening reveals everyone to be capable of situational humor, the accidents of the movie are shared with a laugh.
It is an observational movie, and the majority of the humor is not forced, neither upon us nor upon the movie itself. It merely shows how people can get involved in each others' lives, how funny the average day can be. It is like attending a family reunion, really. The camera does not stick itself to Mr. Hulot, but goes anywhere for a laugh. If a small boy is doing something funny, the camera will be there to capture it all, and then leave the boy. This would make another film feel large, but because there is no story to the film, because there is no main character to feel especially attached to, it always feels personal, it always feel like you are seeing something nobody else is.
Perhaps the best part is that the film sticks with you for days afterward, and soon Mr. Hulot's Holiday shows its real genius, as you start noticing similar things happening around you.
A French classic every bit as funny as "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."
Except for missing the wonderfully amusing sound effects, this nearly silent film could be viewed with the sound on mute. Its plethora of homages to the great films of the silent era, meticulously executed slapstick and sight gags make me grin, smile broadly and laugh out loud every time I watch this Gallic masterpiece.
On a visual level alone, this movie works. Kids too young to understand anything about how movies are supposed to work laugh at the kayak, the fireworks, the tennis, at M. Hulot's gawky awkwardness, etc, etc.
It takes a bit more maturity, or perhaps immersion in Gallic sensibilities, to get all the underlying humor.
Whereas Monty Python takes more obvious pokes at the French, Tati's Hulot takes subtle swipes at the Brits and the Americans. It's 1953. The English speaking world has saved France from the Germans, but the French are losing the cultural battle not only to their liberator's language, but to their mechanized world. Hulot, the old French owl (note Tati's birdlike mannerisms), has become the awkward outsider in his own seaside resort. In that context, much of what might appear disjointed, takes on an appealing continuity. Ferreting it all out is like peeling an onion, layer by layer. Each viewing finds something new.
A film which improves with age and frequent viewing.
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.
Tati is simply one of the foremost artists of the cinema. I wish I had
discovered him sooner. M. Hulot's Holiday was the second feature film he
directed after Jour de fete (unavailable in America at the present time).
was also the first of the Hulot series, introducing us to one of the best
and most endearing characters cinephiles are ever likely to meet: M.
However, no matter how endearing Hulot is, make sure you don't come into a film like M. Hulot's Holiday expecting a laugh riot. This particular film is not (although Mon Oncle, if you're perceptive enough, is). The comedy here, although there are some hilarious moments, puts most of its trust in slow build-ups and extraordinary cleverness. This film is an attempt to make comedy beautiful, and it succeeds oh so well. You will love all the characters, and, as the week draws to a close, you may feel sad. Although at this point I like Mon Oncle more than M. Hulot's Holiday (I have seen Mon Oncle 3 times and Holiday only once), this one is still a masterpiece, of mood if not for anything else. 10/10.
"Mr. Hulot's Holiday" is a terrific comedy. But be warned, it is also
deliberately paced, almost lacking in dialog, and absolutely plot less.
In order for you to enjoy this film, you must not wait for the "story"
to begin--there is not one. In fact, the film is not much more than a
series of sight gags held together by a single set of characters and a
single locale--but as such, it is brilliant.
Director/Star Tati's work in the Hulot films was an obvious influence on the solo films of Jerry Lewis a decade later. It is amazing that the French purportedly think Lewis a genius when in fact his best films (such as "The Bellboy," "The Ladies Man," "The Errand Boy," etc) borrow from the Tati style to the point of plagiarism.
Well, the original is better, and you don't have to endure the constant mugging.
It doesn't matter if you're British, not French : all the holidays of our childhoods were like this. Clear, unbroken skies, relatively empty beaches, chaos at the railway station, half the people acting strangely, the other half unyieldingly the same. There are two points where I laughed uncontrollably for several minutes, and that's more than in most films these days ! The rest is beautifully observed and more quietly funny, although Tati's use of sound can get a little irritating. And, yes, there were a number of versions of the film as Tati added bits over the years : for instance, the 'Jaws' sequence was added after Spielberg's film was released.
"Monsieur Hulot's Holiday" (literally "The Vacation of M. Hulot")
For me, one sign of a great movie is when scenes are so unforgettable that they replay again and again in my mind. By that standard, "M. Hulot's Holiday" is the funniest movie of all time.
I first saw this movie soon after it first appeared in the USA and thought at the time it would be a classic. Since then, the projector in my mind has replayed so many scenes so often that in the replaying it's grown even more hilarious. From time to time, I see it again and each time realize that -- as funny as the original is -- it has that rare quality of planting seeds which grow and blossom in my memory even more. Looking for an end on a snarled garden hose always replays Hulot and the garden sprinkler.
There is very little plot beyond 'what I did on my summer vacation' -- but there doesn't need to be. Through the movie there is an elderly couple who stroll, observing the follies, eccentricities, normalities, of the behaviors of people on a summer vacation. The film's perspective is that we are similar to them, strolling, observing -- and as if the film's opening and close coincide with the beginning and end of the traditional French August vacation.
I've also seen Jacque Tati's "Mon Oncle" several times; while it's good, to me it's several magnitudes lower than 'holiday.' I look forward to seeing "Playtime" with the sure knowledge that nothing can top "M. Hulot's Holiday." As with all humor, people like different flavors.
This flavor is generally slightly dry with a few wet spots. Tati observes the usual, the commonplace, the well-meaning and then tweaks it just enough to either make you smile in self-recognition or sometimes snort milk out your nose. His Monsiuer Hulot is a gentle, chivalrous soul, always trying to be helpful although he inadvertently sows occasional chaos in his wake, as if "letting no good deed go unpunished."
ETA: I've just read Roger Ebert's review of "M. Hulot's Holiday"; it is superb and I recommend it to all:
http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/ apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19961110/REVIEWS08/ 401010328/1023 (remove the 2 spaces)
The "Criterion" DVD version restores many portions that had previously been edited out and is the best version to see.
The picture deals with Mister Hulot going to a holiday resort where he
accidentally originates destruction and disaster . The movie is
plentiful of original sketches . From the beginning to the end the good
humor and bland comedy are continued . The film blends tongue-in-cheek
, irony , giggles , joy , jokes , social critical and is pretty
bemusing and entertaining .
In spite of runtime is overlong , the run is two hours and some , isn't boring neither tiring but funny . The gentle humor developed in the film is clever and thoughtful and the comic numbers vary between slapstick and surrealist . The argument is plain and simple though is only set in a hotel and beach isn't dreary . Jacques Tati is extraordinary as Mister Hulot , character he'll repeat in a sequel : ¨My uncle¨ . Direction and interpretation by Jacques Tati is magnificent and excellent . Alain Romain's score ( habitual musician of Tati ) is agreeable and cheerful . The motion picture received awesome reviews and deserves the complete knowledge because there are amount chuckles and entertainment . The picture is nowadays considered a European cult film .
The measure of a good film, like a good painting, book or any other work of
art, is its ability to draw you back time after time. I first saw M Hulot's
Holiday more years ago than I care to remember and loved it immediately. The
humour is gentle (it's not a laugh-a-minute riot) with superbly crafted
scenes such as a tyre's inner tube transforming into a wreath interposed
between the on-going observational humour as portrayed by the strolling
husband and wife.
Seeing it again for the umpteenth time it's as fresh as the first time I saw it. In fact having lived in France for the best part of two years it appears even funnier now that it did before, something which, no doubt, reflects my own observations of the French way of life.
Pipe smoking Monsieur Hulot,Jacques Tati´s endearing clown takes
a holiday at a seaside resort where his presence provokes one catastrophe
If you going to watch Tati I think you should start with this. It´s one of the funniest movies ever made.
Beautiful filmed in black and white.And there are almost no talk in this film.It´s like a silent film.
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