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.
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 »
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 »
Monsieur Hulot's brother-in-law is the manager of a factory where plastics are manufactured. His nephew grows up in a house where everything is fully automated and the boy is raised in a similar fashion. To take away the influence of the uncle on his son, his brother-in-law gets Hulot a job in his factory. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
While filming, Tati and his crew came across a playful group of street dogs. Tati made several shots of them, which he later used to connect scenes. When filming was over, he couldn't bear leaving them alone, and he placed an advertisement in the newspaper, calling them "movie stars"; all dogs eventually where taken in by respectable families. See more »
When the boys are playing their traffic prank, one of their victims steps out of a 1955 Pontiac Chieftain. In the next cut, as he goes to argue with the woman he thinks has rear-ended him, the Pontiac is replaced by the 1951 Oldsmobile 88 driven by Charles Arpel near the start of the film (and which he is still driving at this point). Even the license plate (523 AP 75) is the same. See more »
Jacques Tati needs a statue in the movie history hall of fame. He will have it, eventually. As an actor, he created Monsieur Hulot, a sort of post-modern Chaplin, walking through the world as estranged and yet delighted, as a middle-aged ET. As a director, he did about the same thing, but added a visual brilliance, a classical sense for the absurd, and a lot of poetry.
Mon oncle, My uncle, is pretty much the manifesto of his artistic raison d'etre. The uncle, Monsieur Hulot, with his timeless, almost zen-like attitude to life, is contrasted by the successful bourgeoisie family, trying so hard to shine. What happens in the movie, is simply the little everyday absurdities rising out of this meeting of contradictions.
Tati makes fun of everyone, but in such a gentle and loving way, no one gets hurt. He is truly enjoying himself, when observing the little madnesses of modern man. There is no call for anyone getting really angry at anyone else.
Still, there are statements, and they are provoking if pondered. Tati probably succeeded in balancing the 1950's unreserved delight in consumer gluttony, with a bit of a taoist reconsideration as to the significance of it all. Without Tati and his movies, it is quite likely that we would have taken much longer in glimpsing the futility of earthly possessions, and that which has for the last half-century been called progress.
And contrary to many other movies of up to the same age, Mon oncle carries the years with just as straight a posture as the one of Monsieur Hulot. They should show this movie in the schools, so that all kids get to see it and reflect.
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